Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Pirate Lover’s Curse by Sheri Queen




Pirate Lover’s Curse
Sleepy Hollow Hunter 
Book Three
Sheri Queen

Genre: Urban Fantasy Romance
Publisher:Wilda Press
Date of Publication: December 22, 2022
ASIN:B0BQX5Y4S5
Number of pages:274 print pages
Word Count: 76,321
Cover Artist: SQ Flemming

Tagline: Half wolf. Half were-cat. One-hundred-percent kick-ass Bounty Hunter.

Book Description: 

Lykoi shifter Janda Gray never expected to be cut off from her fated mate.

But when a centuries-old pirate curse stands in the way, Janda finds herself in a race to unearth a treasure that will break the curse and set Alex free.

As the past and present collide, she realizes the bounty hunter skills she's honed over the years aren't enough to defeat her nemesis—the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow.

Janda struggles with the burden of being the last descendent of the witch who cast the curse—and the only one capable of fixing past wrongs and saving those she loves.

Can she embrace her witch heritage and wield her power before it's too late?

Or, will she lose her mate to the Underworld forever and leave the supernatural community to the mercy of the Headless Horseman?

—————
This is a fated-mate shifter story suitable for 18+. The Sleepy Hollow Hunter series is perfect for urban fantasy fans who enjoy immersive stories of adventure and slow-burn romance. It features witches, ghosts, vampires, demons, and several enticing shifters, and a love story that transcends time. A hybrid shifter discovers her found family and hidden magic.



Excerpt:

“Why does anything pertaining to you have to come with extra baggage?” Uncle Damon said. His dominant pack power surged, affecting the others nearby and making them restless.

The air crackled with his energy. I held my ground. His words stung, but he’d never hear me say it. I’d had lots of practice over the years keeping my hurt from showing, but at this moment, I lashed out with a barb of my own.

“I’m just lucky that way. Kind of like you.” I tapped the desk with my fingertips, knowing he hated it and narrowed my eyes at him.

He sure as hell had his own baggage when it came to relationships and pack bonds, especially when it came to anything with my mother.

“If the two of you are done poking at one another, I’d like to move on to the pertinent issue of the cursed map,” Sebastian said. He stood a good foot away from his desk and peered down at the map as if it might explode.

Everyone had a hands-off approach to the map after I’d blurted out that it was cursed.

“It won’t curse you just by touching it,” I said. “At least, not from what Gwenn or I could tell. It has a hidden layer that will attack you if you try to force it out in the open.”

“That’s just great,” Mutther said. “I suppose you found out firsthand?”

“Not me. Gwenn did. I was the innocent bystander.”

“Right. How innocent?” Nick said. He moved to Mutther’s side and viewed the map from farther away. Neither of them was taking any chances.

Not that I blamed them. They had suffered from being too near me in the past. Mutther was still rebuilding his bar.
About the Author:

Sheri Queen writes immersive stories of adventure and romance.

Her urban fantasy and paranormal women's fiction stories feature snarky bad-ass women, strong female friendships, found family, and sexy romance.

Sheri received her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She grew up in the Hudson Valley region of New York—an area she loves to depict in her stories. She enjoys traveling to new places where she is constantly discovering inspirations for her writing. She especially loves visiting old graveyards.









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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Sight Beyond the Sun by Melody Johnson #SciFiRomance


Sight Beyond the Sun
Love Beyond
Book Two
Melody Johnson

Genre: Sci-fi Romance
Publisher: Incendi Press, LLC
Date of Publication: January 24, 2023
ISBN:978-1-7351499-5-0 
ASIN: B0BG8P1596
Number of pages: 602 
Word Count: 147,970
Cover Artist: Trif Book Designs

Tagline: Separating truth from lies is impossible in the game of spies...especially the lies you tell yourself. 

Book Description:

A prison break. 

Adrenaline junkie and explosives specialist Kinsley “Switch” Morales had a chip on her shoulder long before being caught in what she suspects is some sort of intergalactic human-trafficking ring. Aliens not only exist, their reptilian bodies are stronger, their honed reflexes faster, and their shiny scales nearly impenetrable. But nothing will curb Kinsley’s resolve to commandeer their spaceship and return home to Earth—even if that means crawling behind enemy lines and cozying up to their uncompromising captain. 

An undercover mission. 

When Raveno Hoviir catches Kinsley outside her cell, wreaking havoc in his control room, he sees more than just her strength, resolve, and courage. He sees a golden opportunity to finally root out the traitor under his command and prove his brother’s loyalty before the coming revolution. After so many years undercover, Raveno is finally one mission away from saving his planet from its tyrannical ruler. He’s sacrificed everything to protect his people—his love life, his anonymity, his left leg—but in his efforts to right his father’s wrongs, has he inadvertently become the very monster he plans to overthrow? 

An unlikely alliance. 

As Kinsley and Raveno each attempt to exploit the other, they find more than just leverage for their separate missions. Inexplicably, they find common ground in their mutual devotion to family and service. Kinsley knows all too well the grief and guilt of making the wrong decision in the field, but will Raveno keep his word to send her home if she flips loyalties? Is Raveno’s softening heart compromising his judgment, or is Kinsley’s intelligence accurate? Separating truth from lies is impossible in the game of spies. Seeing beyond their surface differences and trusting in love again may be the only way to save both their people—and each other. 


Excerpt:

Raveno Hoviir didn’t suffer incompetence. He didn’t suffer anything without consequence, a policy his crew was testing time and again lately and without any perceivable sign of becoming more competent. His reputation, carefully cultivated over a long and brutal career, was usually incentive enough to inspire obedience. He couldn’t let that reputation crack, not for anything: not for his morals as he punished decent soldiers for mistakes that didn’t warrant such severity; not for his soul as he led abominable missions to maintain alliances with Bazail, Iroan, and Fray; not for his body as he’d gone to unmatched extremes to prove his loyalty to Cilvril s’Hvri Josairo.
He played the villain in service to his people, a role as necessary as it was revolting.

During Josairo’s early reign as Cilvril s’Hvri, the killing hand of Havar, he’d been the strength and armor their planet had needed to survive what historians now referred to as the War of Wrath’s Will. After bolstering their military forces and gaining the autonomy to wield them as he deemed necessary, Josairo achieved what four previous Cilvrili s’Hvri had died failing to accomplish: He’d secured Havar’s independence from her sister planet, Haven, and ended years of oppression and tyranny.

Or so the historians claimed and the schools taught. Based on Raveno’s first-hand experience, he often wondered if Josairo hadn’t simply murdered historians until he’d found one willing rewrite the war to his liking.

Nevertheless, however he’d managed to wrest unilateral control of their military and judicial systems, Josairo’s unmatched combat skills ensured he kept it, even as he modified their fleet of luxury destination ships into prison transport vessels. Even as he ordered the abduction and trafficking of innocent, sentient people. Even as the peace and prosperity he’d supposedly achieved following their victory against Haven soured into fear-filled obedience. In earning their independence, the havari had traded a foreign tyrant for a domestic one, and every warrior brave enough to challenge Josairo to a frisaes and legally end his rule had thus far lost.

When Raveno ended his rule, it wouldn’t be legal. But he would win.

Until then, the weight of Raveno’s sins were his to bear or be crushed by. Which made confronting the horrific results of his own undercover operation insufferable, knowing his reputation would demand he deliver swift and harsh punishment when faced with his crew’s greatest incompetence to date: a human outside her room and tampering with the equipment in their control room, of all places.

Dellao and Tironan were asleep in their seats, and the woman, cry mercy, the woman was fierce as only a mother could be, all snapping eyes and straining muscles. Some people withered from the poison of oppression, but not her. She seemed fueled by it. She gritted her square teeth with determination. Her soft cheeks flushed a deep crimson from her efforts, and her scent—Raveno sealed shut his nostrils, cutting short that disturbing thought before it could fully form.

“Who do you work for?” Thev sa shek, a traitor on board Sa Vivsheth was the last thing he needed.

Her jaw fell slack. “Y-y-you speak English?”

“Obviously.” His English was rusty and not quite as good as his Mandarin, but still good enough for interrogation. “Who sent you?”

“I think we got off on the wrong foot.” She licked her lips, and deep indents on the corners of her mouth dipped into her cheeks. “My name is Kinsley Morales, but my friends call me Switch.”

He stared at her a moment. Had she just introduced herself? Didn’t she realize she was being interrogated? To death, if she didn’t cooperate.

Please, just cooperate.

“My mother named me after my paternal grandmother. An ‘apology’ name, I always said, because she’d named my sister in honor of her mother, which caused quite a stir on my father’s side of the family. But everyone’s ruffled feathers settled after she named me. The only time my presence had settled anyone’s feathers.” She ran out of air and inhaled a deep, trembling breath.

“What’s your name?”

Ah, he might have believed her composure if not for that tremble. She knew her predicament precisely and was attempting to save herself by appealing to his compassion.

The man he’d become to overthrow Josairo couldn’t afford compassion. “Did my brother recruit you with the promise of freedom? What are your orders?”

The woman flinched. A pained whine escaped her clenched teeth.

Svik, was he hurting her? Raveno loosened his hold, just in case. It might come to that, but not now and certainly not by mistake.

Yet, even beaten down, in pain, and defeated, the gleam of calculation sharpened the woman’s gaze.

Strong in mind if not in body, he thought warily, knowing the terrible efforts it took to break the strong of will. His own physical wound had long since healed, but the muscles of his residual limb often pained him as if his left calf still remained, twisted foot and all.

“Must I repeat the question?” he asked. If not Tironan, someone on board had released her.

The furry tuft above her right eye lifted. “How should I know if I know your brother if I don’t even know you?”

Ha! Fine. He spoke his full name and rank for her in traditional Hvrsil, just for the pleasure of matching her obstinacy with his.

“I…I’m not sure I can pronounce that,” she admitted.

“Considering the deficiencies in the form and function of your tongue, I expect not.”

She narrowed her eyes, clearly unsure if she should be insulted. “Do you have a nickname too? Something less, er, taxing on the vocal cords?”

“No.”

“What do your friends call you?” she tried.

“I have no friends.”

“Something I can call you while I beg for mercy, then,” she snapped.

A laugh overtook him at that, as swift, unwanted, and jarring as a seizure. Oh, this woman was a little firework: all sparks and fierce light wedging lethally beneath his scales.

“When you beg for mercy, you may call me by the modern Haveo version of my name,” he relented. “Raveno Hoviir.”

“A pleasure to meet you, Raveno Hoviir.”

He was certain it wasn’t.



About the Author: 

Melody Johnson is the award-winning author of the “out of this world” Love Beyond series and the gritty, paranormal romance Night Blood series published by Kensington Publishing/ Lyrical Press. She graduated magna cum laude from Lycoming College with her B.A. in creative writing and psychology. 

Earning the 2021 Maggie Award of Excellence, Beyond the Next Star (Love Beyond, book 1) is an exciting branch from Melody's paranormal romance roots, keeping the dark grit from her Night Blood Series and taking it to new worlds. Her first published novel, The City Beneath (Night Blood, book 1), was a finalist in the “Cleveland Rocks” and “Fool For Love” contests. 

When she isn’t writing, Melody enjoys swimming, hiking, reading, and exploring her new home in southeast Georgia. 

Stay in touch with Melody on social media or her website: http://authormelodyjohnson.com/ 



 

 






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Tuesday, January 17, 2023

The Lives of Lilly Parris by Daniel Sugar #Paranormal #AltHistory


The Lives of Lilly Parris by Daniel Sugar


Let yourself fall through time with Lilly Parris, a reincarnated witch.

 Experience the horrors of the Salem witch trials, the terror of the French Revolution, and the shock of the Russian Revolution. Follow Lilly through the Second World War, the English Civil War, and 19th century, Victorian England during the time of Jack the Ripper. 

Live the lives of Lilly Parris.




Salem Burning Book 1:

In 1692, a disreputable young man named Kyle Edwards breaks his engagement by accusing his fiancee, Lilly Parris, of witchcraft. Kyle is a liar; he does not believe in witchcraft, he is simply trying to get rid of Lilly. But Kyle is in for a shock because, as it turns out, Lilly really is a witch. “Salem Burning” is a fast-paced, brand-new take on the Salem witch trials. 




The Witch And The Guillotine Book 2:

After narrowly escaping the horrors of the Salem witch trials, Lilly Parris comes of age in 18th century France, where she is pampered by Louis XVI and pursued by one of history’s greatest fiends: Maximilien Robespierre, the monster who sent thousands of innocent men, women and children to the guillotine. “The Witch and the Guillotine” is a fast-paced, brand-new take on the French Revolution. 




The Witch and the Revolution Book 3:

As the Tsar’s subjects turn against him, Lilly Parris races to save Anastasia Romanov and her brother Alexis - the heir to the Russian throne. “The Witch and the Revolution” is a fast-paced, brand-new take on the Russian Revolution. 







The Witch And The Resistance Book 4:

As the Allies prepare to liberate Europe, Lilly Parris learns of a diabolical Nazi plot. “The Witch and The Resistance” is a fast-paced, brand-new take on the Second World War. 







The Witch And The Merry Monarch Book 5:

After witnessing the execution of King Charles I, Lilly Parris tries to save the life of his son, Charles II. “The Witch and The Merry Monarch” is a fast-paced, brand-new take on the English Civil War. 







The Witch And The Physician Book 6:

As fear grips London, Lilly Parris matches wits with one of history’s most notorious serial killers. “The Witch and the Physician” is a fast-paced, brand-new take on a killing spree that shocked the world. 








#AlternativeHistory #FantasyFiction #ParanormalFiction #Witchcraft #Witches #HistoricalFiction #ParanormalHistorical #AlternateHistorySciFi

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Voting Closes This Saturday January 14

 Bewitching Book Tours has been nominated for 

best Promotional Firms, Sites, and Resources


Please vote here 

https://critters.org/predpoll/promotions.shtml




Ghosts and Legends of Genesee & Lapeer Counties 

has been nominated for best non-fiction book of 2022


Please vote here 

https://critters.org/predpoll/nonfictionbook.s

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

The Immanence Series by Linda Robertson Reinhardt

Covenant with the Devil 
The Immanence Series
Book One
Linda Robertson Reinhardt

Genre: Dark Fantasy
Publisher: Igni House Publishing
Date of Publication: Oct 31, 2022
ISBN: 9781685440077 
ASIN: B0BKJXJZMY
Number of pages:   506 pages
Word Count: 118,000
Cover Artist: Linda Robertson Reinhardt

Book Description: 

After a car crash killed her family and left her in a coma, divine intervention provided Jovienne with a set of enhanced skills and directed her into Andrei’s care. He’s instructed her through years of intense demon slayer training.

Before sending her into the grueling final test, Andrei reveals a truth he’s kept hidden: if she passes, she will be transformed into an angel. His deception threatens to undermine her efforts, but after the hard-won battle, Jovienne is remade.

She quickly realizes this isn’t the life she was promised, and it isn’t what she wants. But there’s more to Andrei’s secrets and lies, and, worse, the man she trusted has manipulated her into eternal servitude.

Good thing she has a few secrets of her own. They might be the only thing that could set her free.

Listen to the Immanence Soundtrack

Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/qG3suMw5SvQ

Amazon  

Excerpt Book One

While washing up the dinner dishes, Andrei heard Jovienne’s door open down the hall. She called, “Sun’s gonna set soon. You ready?”

He rinsed the last dish and placed it in the rack. “Yeah. Are you?” He moved to lean in the doorway, drying his calloused hands on a dishtowel.

On one knee, Jovienne tightened the lacing on her boot. “Almost.”

He glanced around the empty living room where they sometimes sparred. The walls had been drab green long before they moved in. Stains marred the ceiling, some from age and others from leaks. The floor wasn’t much better. Worn and dark, the boards had little shine left. They all creaked under foot.

He imagined the abhadhim had far better living quarters than this. Though he was stuck here, she wasn’t. She deserved better.

She stood and tossed her head, resettling her long mane of black hair. Rocking from her heels to her toes, she tested the feel of the footwear, then approached the wide wooden cabinet. As usual, she studied the weapons on the shelves. She always started by loading her pockets with throwing stars. Next, she would strap leather dagger sheaths to her wrists.  

He smiled to himself when she did just that. He knew her well.

Her every move seemed part of a dance, a choreographed routine she’d performed for years. He noted every detail as her fingers worked those buckles. Nails trimmed short. A web of pale, thin scars marked the brown skin of her hands, badges earned in the mastery of all those blades.

She was a fierce sparring partner who would seize the tactical advantage. A clever and competent student and a serious young woman whose beauty drew the eye, he admired everything about her. She embodied much more than he ever aspired to be.

He could not have been more proud.

He wanted to tell her the news, but a lump swelled in his throat. Revealing the news would bring his tears. He had to master his emotion first. He’d been tough on her. Couldn’t ruin that now and risk her remembering him as a sniveling fool.

Still, he’d have to say those words soon. Too soon. But not yet.

She gave him the once over in a glance. “You going empty-handed?”

On a normal night, he’d already have his sword on his belt and daggers on his hips. But he didn’t need gear tonight.

His stomach churned. Each minute brought him closer to their parting. He didn’t know what zone she’d get, but it was possible he’d never see her again. Every second felt precious. More so because she didn’t know what awaited her tonight. She didn’t have to carry the weight of their inevitable goodbye. For now, he carried the bittersweet burden for her.

You need her far more than she ever needed you.

Every healthy thing in his life stemmed from her. Not just the training routine or emphasis on nutrition. He gained stability from being her teacher. Pushing her physical abilities to ever-better levels required him to be engaged and sharp. And it kept old weaknesses at bay. With her, he achieved his best self.

Still, the need to atone for mistakes of the past haunted him.

His highest, best hope for her entailed a successful future that justified what had been taken from her. She’d had a family. He hadn’t been so lucky.

She slid daggers into the wrist sheaths and retrieved her short jacket from the peg by the door. As the coat settled on her shoulders, the costume jewels of the collar pin sparkled in the light. Andrei grimaced and the knot in his gut twisted tighter.

He’d given her the decorative lapel dagger on her sixteenth birthday. Just over three years ago. That night should have been a happy memory. Instead, an unforgettable trauma etched into his mind.

That night she’d touched him. The child he raised had declared herself a woman and offered herself to him.

He’d refused her. Morally, ethically, it was his only option. He was the only man in her life. She had a teenage crush. It was understandable. Predictable, even.

But it wasn’t easily dismissed.

Disgusted with himself at how quickly he’d grown hard under her hand, all his self-loathing coiled into his throat as he rejected her. His tone had been harsh and critical, bursting with his need to prevent her from ever tempting him again.

In hindsight, he’d been too forceful. Bullish, even. Her defeated expression and posture told him his words had landed like fists. He fled from her room praying he hadn’t done the one thing he never meant to do: break her will.

Jovienne proved too resilient to break, but the incident cost them. Their closeness evaporated. A rift opened, impossible to bridge. The pin on her lapel became a jeweled reminder of the day they destroyed their sense of family. All that remained was teacher and student.

As it should have been all along.

A new ferocity developed in her training regimen afterward. As if she’d discarded secret feelings that had held her back. Or she’d developed new emotional armor.

Either way, it would serve her well in the future. Starting tonight.

 

 

Heretic’s Penance 
The Immanence Series
Book Two
Linda Robertson Reinhardt

Genre: Dark Fantasy
Publisher: Igni House Publishing
Date of Publication: November 14, 2022
ISBN:   9781685440084   
Number of pages:   440
Word Count: 99,000
Cover Artist: Linda Robertson Reinhardt

Book Description: 

Jovienne and Andrei face a new battle —each other. Andrei has embraced an ultra-religious mindset and sees her magical power heresy. Jovienne feels so persecuted at home she leaves. She wants to build a new life, yet the Call continues. 

Whenever a demon arrives, she must slay it.

Not all of the demons seem evil, though, and she struggles with the work. Worse, Lucifer still wants her for her strange abilities. She turns to a local occult shop for help understanding her power. Too late, she learns she’s put them in serious danger.

Amazon     

Excerpt Book Two:

Jovienne pointed at him, hand trembling with anger. “Don’t blame me for what you lost. I begged you to leave. You stayed. Like you said, choices have consequences.”

“You don’t care what your evil witchcraft cost me, do you?”

Her mouth opened, but she wasn’t willing to voice her first thoughts. “I wish more than anything you would have left.” You wouldn’t have been in danger, and I wouldn’t have done what I did to save you. Her eyes burned. Unwilling to cry in front of him, she left.

Even without the boots, her heels thudded on the cracked linoleum.

“Jovienne,” Andrei called.

Ms. Davis, the neighbor downstairs, thumped her ceiling at the noise.

Jovienne didn’t care. She stomped down the hall and slammed her door. In her darkened bedroom, she stared out the front bay window.

Moving back in was stupid. I was naïve to think we could avoid this fight.

She fought both the tears and the scream building in her throat by concentrating on the lights beyond the glass and measuring her breaths.

Andrei flung open her door without knocking.

She spun.

His face contorted and he twisted and smacked the switch up. Harsh light filled the room.

He remained silent a beat longer than she expected.

“You’re an angel now. You can’t act like a spiteful child.”

His expression and tone conveyed calm, but the flush in his face and his white-knuckled hand on the doorknob said otherwise. His dominant pose declared his control of the room.

But she saw he didn’t have control of himself.

She activated the quickening to give herself an extra moment to think.

He’d always been a firm teacher. When she first started besting him in sparring matches, he resorted to taunting her to make her lose her temper. She’d seen right through the bully tactics.

He’d done the same thing in the kitchen, but this time they weren’t physically sparring.

She’d fallen for it and let him use her emotional investment against her.

Though he blocked the doorway with his body, he was not a threat. Not physically. But his beliefs were. He didn’t care if she was a slave. Worse, he felt the servitude was an honor.

She released the quickening and sank onto the bed, staring at the floor between them. Her throat remained tight from her unvoiced scream and when she spoke, it hurt. “Moving back in seemed like a great idea.” She looked up. “Last night, I thought we were on common ground.

But today you’re acting as if you expect to pick up right where we left off.”

His brows knit. “Aren’t we?”

“You’re not my teacher anymore, Andrei. And you never were my father.”

His shoulders sagged. He released the doorknob and raked fingers through his hair.

“You’re right.” The words stood for but a second before he straightened and hurried on. “If I hadn’t failed to nurture your spiritual path—”

“Stop.”

“—if I had only—”

“Stop!”

Andrei winced, then clamped his jaw.

She stood. “There are two things you need to get through your head right now. One, I cannot forget what I learned from you or what I learned from my gramma. Not even if I wanted to. And two, you don’t get to instruct me anymore. If you have an opinion about what I should think or do or how I should live my life, you will keep it to yourself.”



Martyr     
The Immanence Series
Book Three
Linda Robertson Reinhardt

Genre: Dark Fantasy
Publisher: Igni House Publishing
Date of Publication: Nov 28, 2022   
ISBN:   9781685440091
Number of pages:  635
Word Count: 148,000 
Cover Artist: Linda Robertson Reinhardt

Series Tagline: A renegade angel once changed human society forever… now a new angel will change it again.   

Book Description: 

Jovienne’s quest to understand her power and claim her freedom leads to a shocking discovery--one that will shake the foundations of modern society and sends her straight to Hell.

Bewitching Excerpt: Martyr

Jovienne found a box of Jade Oolong tea, filled the kettle, and set on the burner.

Samedi sauntered to the doorway and leaned on the far side of the casing. He blew a puff of smoke and watched her. He’d put the cane away again.

“So, Trouble, do you have any fuckin’ idea what you did back there?”

The nickname couldn’t compare with Black Diamond Woman, but it didn’t entirely displease her. “Without dirt under my feet, I had to draw on the electricity somehow. So I pulled it straight from the wires.” 

He shook his head and laughed softly. “The fuck you did.”

Offended, she leaned on the counter.

“Are you not going to ask me what you did do?”

“If you have something helpful to add, by all means, say it so I can decide if I believe you.”

He touched his chest as if wounded. “I’m trying to help you.”

“Really?” She crossed her arms. “Sitting back and judging seems more your style.”

“Like you’re doing now?”

“You’re not denying it.”

“Neither are you.”

She arched a brow.

Samedi gave her a judgmental once over. “My ‘style’ is malleable,” he said, “adjusting to fit the moment, but fuck you just the same for being a rude bitch.”

Jovienne had learned a lot from spirited chats with Andrei and Eitan and Araxiel. She sensed no threat from Samedi, but saw an amused gleam, and perhaps a playful challenge, in his eyes. It reminded her of the first time she met Araxiel.

“Maybe you should start over, because from where I stand, you’re the rude bitch. You’re acting superior, hoping I’ll change my demands. Or forget them. But I won’t.” She nodded toward the other room where Nathan sat. “What happened at the morgue just threw a lot of responsibility on my shoulders.”

“I’m relieved as fuck to hear you understand the gravity of the situation.” Samedi shifted to lean on the closer side of the doorway. “I see why you think you rerouted electricity to power your magic, but it only proves you don’t know shit about electricity.”

“Demon slaying doesn’t usually involve—” She stopped. In the last week, very little lined up with what she’d trained for. Giving him her back, she opened the cupboard and searched for a coffee cup. “Electricity wasn’t in the curriculum.”

“Of course not. An abhadhon isn’t supposed to have what you have.”

“A nephilim bloodline. Yeah. I know.” She chose a Shang-Chi mug and dropped the tea bag in.

You shouldn’t be an abhadhon.”

“I didn’t ask for it.” She pushed the mug closer to the kettle then recrossed her arms. “Again, if you have something helpful to add, say it.”

His gaze flitted from the kettle to the mug and on to the floor as he considered. She waited. Finally, his eyes found hers. “You wouldn’t compare a nine-volt battery to a nuclear power plant because you understand enough to know that would be a fuckin’ stupid thing to say. Yet you called the power electricity. That tells me you’re ignorant.”

She turned away.

Samedi grabbed her arm and jerked her back. “That’s not an insult. It’s truth. The only remedy for ignorance is learning, so put your ego aside and let me teach you something.”

Jovienne pointedly glanced at his hand on her arm. He released her.

“Your mind made the leap straight to Frankenstein,” he said. “I get why,but forget that shit. Electricity and lightning can’t bring long-dead people back to fuckin’ life. You didn’t pull electricity from the transformers down the street. That power is crude, small, and rudimentary. It wouldn’t want to go through you.”

“Why not?”

“You aren’t negative.”

“I could introduce you to someone who’d say you’re wrong.”

“And I may well agree with them, but I’m talking about polarity, not attitude.”

The water boiled. She lifted the kettle and poured into the mug.

Samedi leaned on the doorway casing again. “Every switch has a ground wire—literally a wire that runs into the fuckin’ ground. Positive electrical charge is attracted to negative electrical charge, so any excess of positive follows the wire down and disburses into the ground.”

“Are you saying I reconnected the disbursed energy and brought it up?”

“No. I’m saying you couldn’t have used electricity because it doesn’t exist in the place you drew from.”

“If not electricity what was it?” She raised and lowered the tea bag by the string, glad for something to do with her hands. “Ley energy?”

“Fuck no.” The note of his voice dropped. “This came from a place deeper down.”

She lowered the bag slowly and let the string go. “How deep?”

“Add some sugar. It will do him good.”

“How deep?”

“Take him the tea. Then we continue.”

Jovienne let the tea steep while she searched for the sugar. Finding nothing but a few pink packets of Sweet-n-Low, she waggled them at Samedi.

“It’ll do.”

She finished preparing the tea and took it to Nathan. After passing it to him, she straightened. Samedi halted close behind her. “What?”

“Knowing without understanding has made you hard. And dangerous.” He offered his hand. “Are you ready?”

            “To what?”

“To understand.” The vortex opened behind him.

She’d demanded to talk to the Angel of Death. Looked like he was going to let her.

 


About the Author:

Linda Robertson Reinhardt is an internationally published novelist and her short stories have appeared in several anthologies. In 2022, she released The Immanence Series, a dark fantasy trilogy for which she created the covers and all the interior artwork. A life-long musician, she’s also an award-winning composer, so it’s no surprise she also wrote and produced a 72-minute original orchestral score to accompany the new books. She has even scored a few short, independent films. Her music is available on most streaming channels. She is also a graphic artist and a painter, and her artwork is available through Redbubble. If that’s not enough, she makes jewelry and hand-blends/hand-bottles fragrances that she sells on her Etsy store. A mother of four boys, Linda is married and lives in Ohio.

 







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