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Monday, May 10, 2021

The Liminal Chronicles Book One by Amy Winters-Voss

 


The Liminal Chronicles
Book One
Amy Winters-Voss

Genre: Urban fantasy and Japanese Mythology 
Publisher: Shy Red Fox Publishing
Date of Publication: April 30, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-7366720-0-6
ISBN: 978-1-7366720-1-3 
ASIN:B08WTK6XWP
Number of pages:312
Word Count: 97,000
Cover Artist: Odette.A.Bach

Tagline: A myth come to life may be worth far more than his freedom.

Book Description:

Will a former gangster dare to protect the elderly woman who antagonizes him? He must choose between breaking a promise to his parole officer or the old lady. Each choice carries a hefty price.

Umeji Tatsuya moves from Tokyo to a small town after leaving the yakuza, the Japanese mob. He knows all too well that his past can't stay buried.

‘Once Yakuza, always Yakuza. The tattoos mark you for life.’

Nakamura Hisako, the town’s beloved dowager, learns about Umeji’s past and tries to oust him, but Umeji just discovered her own long-held secret. If he keeps it for her, the cost is his recently regained freedom. If he doesn’t, Nakamura might have to leave her home, and he risks angering forces he barely understands… and barely believes in.

As the mundane and Spirit Realm intertwine, so do the modern-day and the Pre-Meiji eras. Centuries-old rivalries flare up again, and the past returns in the present. Umeji’s second chance is only the first step of his journey to discover myth, social redemption, and found family.

Rise is the first book in the Liminal Chronicles series.

Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/I2YoMKWt4IQ

Amazon


Chapter 1: Hiding In Plain Sight

Mid-November

Kneeling to stock the low shelves at TaniMart makes my knees ache. Though I’ll give no complaint. I’m lucky to have this job, even if it is mind-numbing. Someday, I’ll have my own business. Right now? I have to save up since the feds took every yen of my savings when they threw me in the slammer.

Crash! Pain shoots through my forearm. Years of fight-or-flight reflex have me jumping to a defensive stance. What the…

Shattered glass and pickled plums litter the polished floor. Reflections of the overhead lights glare at me in the puddles of brine. Then the green, spicy scent of shiso hits my nose. Breathe, Umeji. It wasn’t an attack. Where did Matsuo say the mop was?

“Sorry, Mister!” The boy and his mom bow in the culturally ingrained apology.

“No worries. I’ll clean it up. Please, finish your shopping.” When I reach to pick up the remaining shards, my heart sinks as the distinctive blue-black wave and red maple leaf designs of my tattoo sleeve show through the transparent wet fabric of my shirt. Despite the deafening silence, the hint of the ink that marks my past wails like a siren, warning all in my vicinity. Why the hell does our uniform have to include a white shirt?

Eyes with huge black pupils are framed by the woman’s ashen face. She hunches, tensed as if ready to run. Backing away, she wrenches her son along in a white-knuckled grip.

My hand crushes the shards in my palm as heat fills my core and my head hangs.

When I report the injury to Satou, my volunteer parole officer and boss, he drives me to the doctor to get stitches in my hand. He made me promise not to lie to him when he took me on as a parolee, so I fess up that the cut wasn’t an accident.

I opt for the hour walk home, then he doesn’t have to waste any more time on me. So much for blending in. My attempts to ditch the Tokyo accent are probably worthless now. Satou said there are fewer than 1,300 people in Nonogawa, so everyone in town will know by tomorrow. Something in the mix of traditional and modern housing looks less friendly than it did at first.

My insides continue to twist as I wait for my boss to return home. Tomorrow’s gonna suck. Might as well get in a good soak to relax, instead of pacing. I’d place good money down that Satou picked this old traditional house based on the big wooden tub. When I can afford my own place, a good bath will be a priority for me, too.

It’s been years since I had daily access to one of the most relaxing aspects of Japanese culture. First, because of my jail sentence. Second, most public bathhouses ban gangsters. They say our ink threatens. The previous generations won’t forget the yakuza heydays, and sporting ink was part of the tough guy act.

Naked and settling onto the low wooden stool beside the tub, I lean into the mirror hanging above the faucet to shave and wash. Before people knew I had been a mobster, could they tell these eyes have seen too much? And maybe I should ditch the mustache to fit in better. It covers the knife fight scar. So either way, I’ll stick out. Shit.

Splashing water on my face rinses away the questions. Despite the chill of the tile floor on my feet, I revel in not having to hurry as I scrub and rinse. Damn, it’s good to not have the prison guards timing me anymore. My chin-length hair needs some attention, but I don’t have the cash for a trim. I was lucky the prison didn’t make me get a buzz cut. Most do.

Finally, I slide into the tub. A hiss escapes my mouth as the fire-heated water comes in contact with chilled skin. The tattooed kitsune frolicking in their traditional designs over my shoulders and back seem to enjoy the warmth, too. Soon the heat seeps into stiff muscles, and I lean on the edge, soaking it in.

Satou said the community is hard to break into. So, I’ve got to avoid sticking out any more than I already do. In a small town, once you’re known for something, it’s never forgotten. With a determination to focus on one day at a time, I sink deeper into the water.

#

On my next shift, whispers and side glances greet me. The yakuza taint broadcasts its presence stronger than the stench of diarrhea.Everyone gives me a wide berth. Not even a week in town and I’m an outcast again. The only way out is hard work and humility. I will endure.

The mom returns just before my shift ends. She avoids the aisle I’m stocking, but her little boy points, announcing, “Mama! There’s the guy with the tattoos!”

Her shushing causes him to insist all the louder. Focus on the task at hand, Umeji. I force myself to look away as she lugs him out of the building.

That’s the moment Satou’s elderly aunt gives me the stink eye. Shuffling up, she waggles a crooked, accusing finger right in front of my nose, causing me to back into the shelves and knock several plastic tubes of mayo on the floor.

“Get your head out of the sand, boy. Don’t bother playing stupid. I know you saw that. I advised my nephew not to take in a stray like you. To make things worse, yesterday I heard you’re covered in irezumi tattoos. Nonogawa may be in the sticks, but we all know what that means here.”

I blink. Aren’t little old ladies supposed to be sweet and polite?

“Well? Are you?” she presses.

While Ideserve the disdain, why is this woman putting down her family in public? “Ma’am, the community respects Satou-san. I’ll do my best for his sake.”

She draws out the syllables. “You dodged.” As she crosses her arms, her sharp eyes shift to a predatory glint. “If you won’t answer, roll up your sleeve. I know yakuza ink when I see it.”

My head swivels. Satou, where are you? Please, make your vicious aunt heel. “Ma’am?”

In the mob, I was good at remembering names, because the alternative could be costly. What did my VPO say her name was? Oh yeah—Nakamura Hisako, the town’s beloved matriarch. As part of the Hiragi clan in Tokyo, I would have never let a little old lady corner me or make my palms sweat. I’m not some kid who stole from her cookie jar. I haven’t done a damned thing wrong here. So what gives?

I take a breath. “Nakamura-sama, it’s becoming more common in the cities. People keep ‘em out of sight to avoid the stigma.”

As if I’ll tell this biddy the full truth. Later, I can scream rebellion in gokudo drawl all I want. But her outburst is the proverbial piano hanging overhead, threatening to crash down on the little hope I have in this town.

At twenty-four, I should have a high school diploma and a college degree or employment experience. This is my only chance. Suck it up, Umeji.

I bow deep. “I apologize that my tattoos offend. If I could turn back time, I’d not have done it. Please, allow me to return to work. How may I help you?”

Harrumphing, she turns on her heel with the grace of a ballerina. How does an old lady move that fast?

When I finish stocking, I grab my baseball-style jacket with its embroidered fox on black and gold silk and beeline it to Satou. Just my luck, his aunt beats me there. Don’t look cocky.

I wait behind her and examine my shoes. Faint reflections of fluorescent lights show on the tile floor.

“That tattooed punk is bad for business.” She points, doubtless aware of how rude she’s being. “He dares to flaunt his past wearing that rebel jacket, instead of considering this store’s reputation. I’ve heard all manner of rumors. Mark my words, Kazuo, people will stop shopping here.” Full-to-the-brim grocery bags strain her arthritic knuckles.

While Nakamura’s concern is understandable, does she care that this ‘rebel jacket’ is the only one I own? I was fortunate someone dropped it by the penitentiary after emptying my apartment. Why does this town love her, anyway?

Satou clears his throat and tilts his nose toward me. “Aunt, tattoos or not, he’s being much more polite than you. I’ve never seen you in such a state.”

Umeji, you were taught the tenants of bushido. The honorable way of the warrior. Give it your all. In a whisper, I offer, “Nakamura-sama, may I carry your groceries?”

She grumbles, lumbering off. What happened to the grace she had?

“Aunt Hisako is always opinionated and protective of our community. But she’s almost always reasonable. Wish I knew what got her undies in a bundle.” With a raised eyebrow, Satou says, “You rendered her speechless. That’s quite the feat.”

Shoving my arms into the sleeves ruthlessly, I shrug on my coat.

“It’ll be ok, Umeji-san. FYI, I need to stay late, but you can wait in the break room.”

Most days I remain beyond my assigned hours to assist with the day’s tasks. Every dutiful employee does. But I mumble, “Thanks. Think I’ll walk.”

“Suit yourself.”

In the parking lot, a shitzu puppy breaks loose from its owner’s grasp. The mutt charges for Nakamura as it barks its head off to warn of an intruder in its domain. Nakamura, calm as a windless day, lifts her index finger toward the potential attacker, halting it in its tracks.

The owner scoops up the stiff, silent pet and bobs. “I’m so sorry, Nakamura-san! I can’t imagine what little Taro-chan was thinking.”

“Thank you for catching him. I think he intended to bite my leg off. Didn’t you, pup?” Satou’s aunt flashes a wry smile that must have created most of the lines in her wrinkled face. It causes the other woman’s eyes to widen in horror. She bows again, scurrying off.

Unperturbed, Nakamura sets her groceries in her red Nissan sedan. But a can drops and rolls, causing her to let out a string of undignified swearing.

Here we go again! Scooping it up before it’s flattened under a moving van and jogging over, I hold it out in my hands—a peace offering. Her lips purse and she snatches the item from my grasp as if my touch might poison the food inside.

Fine.If this is a war of attrition, I’ll fight it with kindness and humility to show regret for what I’ve done.

Mid-afternoon, I’m almost to the house. Strolling through the forested farmland, sunshine and the warm, late fall day breathes life into me again. The dense, fiery landscape of reds, oranges, and yellows set off by the evergreens of bamboo, cedar and cypress has me grabbing for my cellphone. I’d seen parks like this, but not horizon to horizon beauty. Then my shoulders sag. The feds took my cell, too.

Compared to the compacted cityscape I’d grown up with, the open farmland leaves me exposed. Tall buildings always surrounded and protected me before I came here. A weight fills my chest. Despite being in the middle of nowhere for a week, I keep half expecting to see some tall structure around the next bend. Out of habit, I shove my hands in my pockets to fiddle with the dog-eared collection of Japanese myths. My breathing slows upon contact with the book from my father.

A glint of vermilion in the trees stands out even in the bright foliage beyond the rice field, so I squint against the sun to get a better look. Beckoning me, a path leads through the paddies and over the river to a torii gate.

My mob leader insisted that our clan appear to be dedicated followers, though I only ran through the motions to appease him. Shoving belief into a shoebox in my mind, I labeled it as ‘Umeji’s too unclean to deal with this stuff’. That box got pretty damned full.

My stride turns to a jog as I’m greeted by the fox statues with red bibs at the top of the stairs. Pausing for a brief bow at the gate, I bound up, skipping every other step. I shouldn’t run because I’m entering a sacred area. But a tug on my heart invites me to peek at what I’ve avoided so long.

Memories flood in as I climb. When I was a child, my dad would read to me. My favorite stories were of the kitsune. Whether they were the messengers of Inari or the shape-shifting trickster spirits, they fascinated me. Mom also fed my obsession with the mythical animals by buying me a fox mask and taking me to the Ouji Inari shrine to be in the Kitsune Parade when I was ten. After that, I drew foxes on everything and devoured every myth I could find.

When my mob brothers went to get inked, dragging me along, I hoped the artist would agree to my plan. Traditional tattoo artists are picky and may refuse an idea. On top of that, they charge a fortune.

I’d printed a picture of a Meiji era photograph with a man showing off his tats—a nine-tailed fox on each shoulder with them chasing each other, one red with a flame above it and the other white with a scroll in its mouth.

My brethren teased me because kitsune aren’t the typical symbols gangsters pick. They quit when the tattooer was so intrigued he did the initial outlines of the ancient design for free.

At the summit, I follow the dirt path through the foliage to find a squat shrine building that probably never had a lick of paint. Moss covers sections of the tiled roof and footings. Yet, the steps and floor are spotless. A bell and a few crisp white paper ornaments, hanging from the rope that demarcates the spiritual space, decorate the simple place of worship, urging me to pray.

Do I want to open that jam-packed shoebox? My fingers shake. The things I’ve done. The offering coffer makes me look away. I won’t get paid for a while, and my last cash went to buy necessities. No coins to throw. Nothing to offer. Coming here was a mistake.

As my fists slide into my coat pockets, there’s a crinkle—the salmon onigiri that was supposed to be my lunch. Unwrapping it releases the scent of the fish, rice, and vinegar, making my stomach growl. I’ve gone without meals before. This time is my choice.

With reverence, I place it at the doorway to avoid stepping inside and sullying the building. Then, after the customary bows, claps, and ringing of the bell, I pray. My throat constricts as I dare to voice my request to the kami. “Help me stay on this new path and assist others as Satou-san has me.”

Heading back down the trail, my tally of all the things that could go wrong tomorrow is interrupted by prickles forming on the back of my neck. Am I being watched? A glance behind me doesn’t reveal anyone.

After passing under the torii, I hear a rustling. The tail of a gray fox disappears into the dense foliage. Did it enjoy my meal? My love for the creatures drives me to follow it, but I stop after my first step past the gate. Idiot. The animal is long gone and knows this area, unlike me. With luck, I’ll spot it again.

About the Author:

Amy is a former programmer turned author after her first trip to Japan in 2017. Now she writes Japanese myth-based urban fantasy to reconnect with the country and culture that captured her heart.

She lives in South Dakota with her supportive husband, two wonderful kids, a mellow old cat who adopted the family, and three wily and crazy ferrets.

https://amywintersvoss.com

https://liminalchronicles.com

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https://www.goodreads.com/amywintersvoss

https://twitter.com/amywintersvoss

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https://www.instagram.com/amywintersvoss/

 




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Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Apocalipstick Hell in a Handbag Series Book One by Lisa Acerbo

 


Apocalipstick
Hell in a Handbag Series
Book One
Lisa Acerbo

Genre: Horror, Dystopian, 
Romantic Fantasy, NA Romance
Publisher: DLG Publishing Partners
Date of Publication: March 24, 2021
ASIN: B08TQKG3TT
Number of pages: 264
Word Count: 66, 000

Tagline: Life is bad after the apocalypse . . . the undead just made it worse. 

Book Description: 

“My dreams pre-pandemic included  a high school graduation party before attending college and marrying an attractive future lawyer. Instead, I'm praying for a long, sharp knife and a big gun to survive the undead.” —Jenna 

Jenna Martin lives in a world gone insane after a mysterious pandemic kills much of the population. Being alive after an apocalypse is bad, but it is made worse when the multitudes killed by the disease return ravenous for human flesh. Jenna, in serious trouble and pursued by undead, heads to the safest place available, a cemetery. 

Ready to give up, she finds the strength to persevere for one more night and meets a group of survivors willing to take her in. The group caravans to Virginia, where they plan to inhabit an isolated inn called High Point, but the undead are always close behind. Packs of zombies, known as Streakers, attack, leaving Jenna and the other survivors battling for their lives and racing toward safety. 

Once safely isolated at the inn, the group rebuilds society and Jenna begins a relationship with Caleb. Although he withstood the virus, he has not come out unscathed. He and some others now labeled the New Rave have changed into what many would call zombie kin—vampires. Jenna's falls hard and fast for Caleb, which causes more problems that she ever expected in the fledgling society. But there are worse things than vampires and zombies searching for her, and they arrive at the inn's door ready for destruction.


Excerpt 1

Glass shattered in the next room and footsteps crunched over the broken splinters. What had once been a tall, middle-aged man in a business suit, was now a bloated corpse in rags crusted over with blood and pus. The baked-by-the-sun Streaker wore a wrinkled face with the consistency of an old raisin. His right arm hung limply, dislodged from the socket, but both hands made continual grabbing motions.

 Lacking any grace, the creature staggered to the bedroom door and stopped. It sniffed, searching out its next meal. Blood poured from Jenna’s lip, where Tundra had hit her. She wiped it away, then retrieving the piece of wood. Sensing the movement, the Streaker turned its undead eyes on her. Some of its skull had been torn away, exposing the rot. It lumbered and stumbled over the chair in its path, giving Jenna desperate seconds to ready herself. Arm raised, eyes dead and unblinking, it came, dancing with death. It reached out to grab her.

Jenna ducked, then swung low and hard. “I must have gone brain dead. I can’t think of one good zombie joke right now.”

The creature staggered back, but then surged forward. Jenna rammed the edge of the board into its stomach.

“No comeback from the undead. There’s a no brainer.”

 It writhed against the constant pressure of the wood. A trail of intestines spurted out, staining the tattered remains of clothing. Jenna gagged at the stench.

“You, my good sir, are too gross for words.”

The undead groaned, plowing forward. Decaying brains leaking from its nostrils and eyes.

“That all you got for me?” She stepped back, hoisting the board, and swung. The head of the creature flew sideways, but it continued forward, emaciated fingers scratching. She drove the Streaker over to the left with a repeated, steady swing. The wood sank into a shallow layer of skin covering the undead’s overripe, bloated belly.

Upon Caleb’s return, he moved to Jenna’s side. She stepped back and leaned against the window. Caleb, hatchet in hand, forced the Streaker into a corner. A noise at the window had her spinning around. A hand shot through the glass and into the room to claw at Jenna’s face. Outside in the darkness, lifeless eyes found her. The undead rammed against the window, spraying glass. Jenna stepped away, and seconds later, a loud crack caused splintered wood and glass to fall to the floor along with pieces of the zombie’s fingers. With a catatonic stare, the Streaker pushed through the opening, tearing its flesh against the jagged edges of the frame.

Jenna flashed back to the cigarettes and matches she saw in the room. Fire was exactly what she needed now. She searched for the matchbook that had laid on the floor, but the room was in disarray thanks to the fight. Something bumped behind her, and panic rose inside her. Dropping to her belly, scanning the floor, her fingers reached under the bed.

 


About the Author:

Lisa Acerbo is a high school teacher and adjunct faculty at a local community college. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, daughters, two dogs, and horse. When not writing, she mountain bikes, hikes, and fosters dogs.




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Sunday, April 25, 2021

The Trial of a Tyrant The Assassin of Acreage Book Two by R. L. McIntyre

 


The Trial of a Tyrant
The Assassin of Acreage 
Book Two
R. L. McIntyre

Genre: New Adult Dark Fantasy
Publisher: Indie publishing on KDP
Date of Publication: 4/24/2021
ISBN: 978-1-7365182-3-6
ASIN: B08WX7TYJ1
Number of pages: 370
Word Count: ~ 90,0000
Cover Artist: Getcovers

Tagline: Nothing cuts deeper than the truth.

Book Description:

Putting a tyrant on trial could cost everything.

Serena, the great Death Sparrow, saw the sacrifices made at Bathon. She knows to dethrone the Tyrant King would require more than even she is willing to give. The only advantage Serena has left is her magic. As she begins to explore this part of herself, the ever-watchful gaze of the General follows her. He knows that his son Wesley, and her are involved, and relishes in this new game of cat and mouse. It isn’t just Serena who is ready to do anything for her friends. Wesley will risk the same to see his father stays far away from Serena, but he cannot stop the King alone. Together they must keep nine lords alive during the trial or risk the gallows ending everything.

Serena vows to do the unthinkable at every turn. Bow before the Tyrant and his General, play the role of a court Lady and use her magic in secret to give them a fighting chance. However, in this game of secrets, it isn’t only the King’s that are under scrutiny.

The Shadow Heir is coming, and he knows everything about the Death Sparrow and her friends, including her magic. 



Excerpt

Serena scowled as she worked on Wesley’s tattered back. The General’s hand, his father’s hand, was crueler than even she realized. He was in considerable pain but hissed through his breaths with controlled ease. Her anger rattled her breaths as she grabbed the nearby bandages.

“Sit up,” she ordered.

Wesley sat up on the bed turning to face her. He removed the remains of his shirt leaving her face to face with his naked chest. Several white scars decorated it, but her eyes rested on the well-formed mountains he had for muscles. His abs were perfect. His whole body reminded her of a warrior God. A blush grew on her cheeks as she remembered feeling his muscles through his shirt, but now she could see them without interference. She sucked in a breath, trying to focus on the task while her eyes wandered every inch of him.

A smirk crossed Wesley’s face. He gently grabbed her hand, pulling her closer.

“Do you like what you see?” He held her hand against his chest. She could feel his muscles shift with his every breath. It ignited a warmth in her stomach she tried to control.
Her face flushed, and she pulled back steadying her breaths. “Stop distracting me,” she said, unrolling the bandage and holding it to his chest as she reached around him to wrap his back. He placed his hand over hers. The warmth of the touch drew her eyes to his. The look in them held her still. Without words she could feel his every thought. The blush on her cheeks grew as the fire in her stomached grew even hotter.

“Stop,” she breathed.

“Are you sure you want me to?”

Serena took a deep breath that filled her nose with myrrh. She nearly whimpered at how it only seemed to make things worse but still she pulled her hand away. She focused on the bandages. The soft, cold bandages. The feel of his naked body against her arms continued to fluster her. His breaths seemed to pull her closer as she tried to finish quickly. Wesley grabbed her waist and pulled her tight. She tripped into him, her momentum almost knocking him onto his back. He chuckled, holding her close as his arms wrapped around her. She glared down at him, while a playful grin covered his face as he looked up at her.

“I fear I am a distraction.” He smirked. Daryl left the room as she bent her head down towards his, so her lips hovered above Wesley’s. There was a hunger in his eyes. She felt it too, but she refused to let him know so easily.

“I may be distracted,” she said, letting her eyes drop to his lips before gently licking her own. He edged up towards her. “but it isn’t enough for me to lose focus.” She pushed him back a smirk gleaming on her lips as she returned to the bandages. Wesley sat stiffly, almost pouting as she finished. His eyes carefully watched her ever move. She began to wash her hands in the basin when he bolted up behind her and snatched her waist. She yelled out, his warmth and presence keeping her assassin instincts at bay as he spun her, pinning her between the pole of his bedframe and him.

“You’re finished now. So, stop teasing and kiss me,”

“Is that an order?”

“We both know I cannot order you to do anything.”

She smirked and leaned up to him. His lips laid on hers. A gentle kiss that filled her with a warmth that chased away the darkness that suffocated her heart. He kissed her harder, igniting the hunger she barely kept at bay. He pulled her waist tight, drawing her even closer to him. She gasped at the sensation, continuing their kiss as she moved her hands to his neck and cheek. She carefully avoided his back as she tried to feel as close to him as possible. Her hands wandered as his possessively held her still.

“Can you please not,” said a voice. She looked at the door, lust heavy in her eyes as she saw Sam. Her stomach dropped as she understood what he just saw.

“Sam-”

“I know you chose him; I’d just not like to see it. Now I was here on business, not pleasure like some people.” He said coldly.

“Sam, that isn’t what-” she started feeling the pain that was in his eyes. It felt like tiny shards of glass piercing her skin.

“Enough, Serena!” he snapped angrily. “I don’t have anything to say to you.” She flinched at those words. The pain quickly turned to anger as she moved past Wesley to Sam. He would not talk to her like that. Of all people he knew better.

She shoved him back into the parlor. He stumbled catching himself before he fell.

“Don’t disrespect your better. You want to keep things all about business. Fine, then remember who is above you, Viper.” She growled. He glared back at her.

“Fine Sparrow, but I wasn’t here to talk to you. So, if you don’t mind.” He growled, turning to Wesley.

“What do you want?” Wesley asked, an edge of annoyance in his voice. She wasn’t sure who he was annoyed at.

Sam looked at Wesley’s bandages and scoffed. “I’ve figured out how I can help. I want you to add me to your guards. Once I’m in, I can get into the King’s personal guard. I’ll earn his trust.”

“Can I trust you to not stab me in the back?”

Sam let out a cynical laugh. Serena felt more on edge with that laugh. Her muscles primed for an attack.

“Trust? Is that how you convinced her? I don’t need you to trust me. I can do this without your help if I want, but we all decided on a plan. I just need you to work with me. I’ll repay the favor.”

“That doesn’t answer the question,”

“You truly do not understand assassins.” He looked at Serena a look of mockery on his face. “We do what we must for our own gains. Why she stands by your side is as perplexing as why the moon shines when the sun is out. It is useless.” Sam stepped closer to Wesley who stood stiffly glaring at him. “Do you see yourself holding onto the things you want without my help? A few months from now summer will be in full swing. It will be the perfect time for an invasion, especially since Acreage won’t be sweltering hot like the Samorians are used to. Can you really refuse me?” His eyebrows raised to match his smirk.

“Viper,” Serena warned. Sam rolled his eyes and looked at her.

“I won’t hurt your toy. I refer to your station as long as you keep it, but the moment you lose it I won’t,” he warned.

She took a deep breath, knowing what he meant. If Gwayne heard of her relationship with Wesley, she’d lose her standing in the assassins. Gwayne would destroy her. If Sam didn’t attack her first. Looking at him, she wasn’t sure if he was still her ally or just a convenient blade hired out of necessity. When the necessity ended, was he willing to turn against her? Seeing the pain and anger in his eyes. She knew the answer was yes. So, she needed to make sure he still needed her regardless or she would suffer the fallout.

“You should remember if you want your name cleared you need me.” she retorted.

“Then perhaps when we no longer need each other, I can sever the heart you’ve so enjoyed stabbing.” She felt the pain in her own heart as if he stabbed hers. She held it back. “I expect to be added to the guard’s tomorrow. Be sure it’s done,”

He left the room falling into silence. Serena stood still a few moments calming herself. She still cared for Sam. They grew up together. He was her first everything. His pain was her pain. For so long pain and love had been the thread connecting them. For their history to stop controlling her future she could have to sever their bond, but not until it was safe.

“I should get back to Helen’s. We all have work to do.”

“I’ll walk with you,” Wesley said, throwing on a new white shirt. She looked over at him and sighed.

“I’m fine. I want to walk alone. I want to think.”

Wesley watched her walk to the door.

“Make sure to rest,” she said as she opened the door. Wesley closed the distance between and pressed the door shut. His body nearly draped over hers as she stood looking at the door.

“Serena,” His hot breath caught in the collar of her shirt sending shivers down her spine.

“I should go.”

“I don’t want you to.”

Her knees felt weak hearing those words. She inhaled deeply the scent of myrrh reminding her he was behind her. Not that she could forget. His heat was suffocating, and she didn’t care that her lungs refused to work.

She wanted to be lost with him. Lost from the world full of problems she needed to fix.

“Serena-”

“Stop.” She said forcing herself to think and not give in. Her body and heart roared against her mind. They refused to be ignored but staying would make everything more dangerous. The General could find out. That thought alone warned her that this was not the time to forget what must be done.

“Not tonight.” Her voice nearly wavered. “There is work to be done, and if I stay...” She couldn’t finish the sentence. She opened the door and Wesley stepped back letting her walk alone into the halls. Serena focused. There was no time for distractions.



About the Author: 

R. L. McIntyre is a new fantasy YA/NA writer, from the Philadelphia area, who debuted February 27th, 2021. She is a fan of all things medieval which includes her own personal sword collection. She strives to write complex and realistic characters using her knowledge of psychology. When not curled up with a book and her fur babies you’ll likely find her out on an adventure looking for her next big inspiration.








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Friday, April 23, 2021

Black Moon Rising by Mila Nicks

 


Black Moon Rising
Paranormal Hunters 
Book Two
Mila Nicks

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Date of Publication: 23 April 2021
ISBN: 
ASIN: B08L8W4YCF
Cover Artist: Red Leaf Book Design

Tagline: Dreams aren’t always so sweet

Book Description:

Philadelphia. Boston. New York City. 

Selene Blackstone is finally getting the chance to explore like she’s always dreamed. Once stuck in her hometown Brimrock, with the curse broken, she’s a free witch. Together in their trusty caravan Ghost, she and her paranormal investigator boyfriend Aiden O’Hare are traveling cross-country filming for their show, Paranormal Hunters. 

Their first case brings them to the colonial town Maresburg, Virginia, where the Mhoon Hotel is said to be one of the most haunted in the country. At the century-old hotel, guests experience nightmares so frightening they’re heart-stopping—literally. Selene and Aiden only have a couple of weeks to figure out if this case is a scammer at work, or if there’s some truth to what they say: dreams do come true. And so do nightmares. 


Black Moon Rising Excerpt 1:

“We’re here. Time to get up,” Aiden said, but Selene didn’t budge. He draped her arm over his shoulder and lifted her into his arms, carrying her down the passage leading into the hotel.

The foyer lights were already off except for the desk lamp at the reception counter. He staggered up the stairs, keeping his balance while holding a dozing Selene. He had no clue where her key card was and didn’t have the energy to stop and search. Instead, he fumbled for his own, sliding it into the slot on his door handle. The lock clicked and the door swung open. He delivered Selene to his bed, figuring she would wake up once she realized they were no longer driving.

But she didn’t. Aiden spent the next half hour showering and shaving. He emerged in his glasses, T-shirt, and pajama bottoms and discovered Selene was still deeply asleep. A frown curled itself onto his lips as he debated if he should try waking her again. He lowered himself at her side on the bed and gave her a gentle shake.

“Selene,” he said. His insides knotted with a strange premonition. “Wake up. We’re back at the hotel.”

Selene was the lightest sleeper he knew. It was what made her insomnia that much worse; the slightest noise normally woke her. She needed a perfect temperature and often even the bed itself kept her up if not comfortable enough. She wasn’t someone who fell into a deep hibernation type of sleep.

Her only answer to him was another sleepy moan. She rolled onto her side and snuggled one of the bed pillows. She really was knocked out.

“I didn’t realize she was this tired,” he said, sighing. He unzipped her boots, tugging them off, and then pulled the bed comforter over her.

He dimmed the lights and picked up his book for some bedtime reading. Before he made it to the armchair on the other side of the room, he stopped short. Outside the door there was an unmistakable whispery sound, like the soughing wind.

It only grew louder as he stood still and listened. The low whispering noise transformed into something rougher—something borderline ragged—and then it dawned on him. The sound wasn’t the wind but one of lungs, intaking a breath. Who those lungs belonged to, he hadn’t the faintest clue.

Aiden’s heart started racing and he straightened his shoulders. The sound was going nowhere, hovering outside the door. He had to check it out, investigate what was going on. In two of his long-legged strides, he crossed the room and pressed his eye to the peephole.

The hall was blanketed in darkness. Staring into the peephole was like staring at the inside of your lids. Yet, as Aiden held his eye against the hole, another strange premonition panged in his stomach. Whatever was on the other side of this door was staring back at him. It was peering into the same hole.

Gooseflesh pricked Aiden’s skin and he backed away. The ragged breathing carried on for another few seconds, an ugly sound to Aiden’s ears, before it faded. Farther and farther away it drifted until the sound died out and silence weighed in.

Aiden hurried over to his desk, grabbing the spirit box, the flashlight, and his copy of War and Peace. The spirit box and flashlight were to detect any unusual activity in the area. The thousand-plus page book was to use as a weapon if necessary. He threw a glance over his shoulder at the bed. Selene was still fast asleep, buried under the covers looking cozy and comfortable. He marched to the door and pulled it open.

Shadows ruled the hallway. Aiden stepped over the threshold, shuddering at the arctic cold in the air. He flicked on both the flashlight and spirit box, which crackled to life. Shining the flashlight down the hall, the shadows scuttled away. Nothing was out of the ordinary. The hallway looked as it always did, a stretch of oil portraits on the walls and doily-like area rugs sprinkled throughout.

The spirit box continued to crackle, its green lights weakly blinking. Aiden scanned the hall some more, his brow furrowed. If there wasn’t anything amiss, then was he imagining the sound? Maybe he was more exhausted than he realized…

He was a second away from turning back and heading into the room. The lights on the spirit box flashed bright and the crackling noise intensified. His eyes snapped to what it had picked up on and his gooseflesh only spread across his skin in a cold wave.

Black ink dribbled from the vent in the hall. It trickled down the striped wallpaper in a slow descent. He walked over and shone his flashlight onto the vent. Selene had been right all along. Whatever it was they were dealing with wasn’t human.

 

About the Author:

Mila Nicks is on a mission to pen heartfelt and entertaining love stories featuring women of color. 

When she isn’t writing diverse love stories, you can find her globetrotting, sampling new cuisines, and spending quality time with her spunky pet Chihuahua, Zayden. 

For more on Mila, including news on upcoming releases and story freebies, check out her website and subscribe to her newsletter: https://www.milanickswrites.com/










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Friday, April 9, 2021

Little Bits of Karma Karma Series Prequel Laura Simmons



Little Bits of Karma 
Karma Series 
Prequel
Laura Simmons

Genre:  Reincarnation/Paranormal Romance
Publisher:  Outskirts Press
Date of Publication:  June 30, 2015 
ISBN:  1478757167
ASIN:  B010P27HZS
Number of pages:  334

Book Description:  

A captivating reincarnation romance of redemption and forgiveness.

Even though Holly O’Rourke is having problems with her longtime significant other, James, she has never entertained thoughts of infidelity…that is, until the day she has a chance encounter with Charlie, a handsome coworker. James promises he will change and work on their relationship, but Holly’s feelings for Charlie just won’t go away. 

Distressed by her mixed emotions, Holly schedules an appointment for a reading with a psychic medium, where she discovers her adulterous past lives and their tragic consequences. Holly learns to do her own past life regression through self-hypnosis and uncovers not only lives that she shared with James and Charlie, but how the other people in her present life have been with her in the past—the threads of their lives interwoven for centuries. 

Holly is stunned by recurring themes and the issues of karmic justice that need to be addressed. Where will her karmic path ultimately lead? Find out in Little Bits of Karma, an entertaining story about spiritual cause and effect.


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Little Bits of Karma – Prequel

She hoped this woman would be able to tell her about her past lives.She arrived ten minutes early to the appointment. Martina was located within walking distance from the Metro. She lived in a small row house with a sign in the front yard indicating her services by appointment only. Holly rang the doorbell, and Martina opened the door.

“Hello. Are you Holly O’Rourke?” Martina Preston asked her.

“Yes. Are you Martina?” she asked excitedly.

“Yes, I am. It’s great to meet you. Come on in,” Martina said with a smile and extended her hand. Martina’s demeanor was friendly and inviting and Holly instantly felt at ease. 

Martina was a little lady, standing no more than 5 foot1. She was in her mid-30’s with a round, pretty face with crystal blue eyes, medium brown, curly hair that fell past her shoulders, and a voluptuous figure. She was wearing a red checkered sundress and matching solid red espadrille shoes. She led Holly into a small room with gleaming hardwood floors and two white leather chairs and a round wooden table. There were two windows in this room. Martina pulled down the shades to block the sun. There was a large wooden cabinet next to one of the windows.  The room was practically empty.

“Have a seat Holly, and we will talk for a few minutes,” Martina said. The two women sat in the white chairs across from each other.

“So, you are here today for a past-life reading, correct?” Martina asked.

“Yes,” Holly replied.

“First, I want to tell you what will likely happen during this session. I go into a trancelike state, and my voice might change. I sometimes take on the behavior of whatever spirit guide is there to speak through me. Usually it is my spirit guide working together with your spirit guide to access your past lives. Each of us has spirit guides to help us in our earthly incarnations. Your primary spirit guide is assigned to you before reincarnating into your current body. As you go through life, the circle of your guides expands, depending on the work you need to accomplish.  When you reincarnate, you go through a veil of amnesia, and as you learn and grow in this life, you wonder, what the heck am I here for? 

“We come from heaven, a place of total love and happiness. Your enemies in this life are dear friends on the other side. By incarnating into physical bodies, you learn a deeper appreciation for good things and even the bad. The potential growth from experiencing the bad is tremendous. There is no ‘bad’ in heaven, and if you never reincarnate you won’t know the difference between good and bad. There are many wonderful worlds to advance to in heaven after your schooling on Earth and your incarnations are completed.

“We plan our lives before we are born, and our spirit guides are here to help us achieve what we came here to learn and do. They do this by giving us intuitive nudges in the right direction, although we don’t listen to them most of the time. They do their best to keep us on track and guide us for our own good. 

“Today, we will be accessing an area of the spiritual realm called the Akashic Records.  This realm contains detailed records of your past lives and the past lives for every soul who has reincarnated. Your thoughts, dreams, and actions are recorded for eternity. Do you have any questions before we start?” Martina asked.

“No, I understand. We can begin whenever you are ready,” Holly replied thinking . . . Even our thoughts are recorded for eternity?That’s embarrassing . . . Thank goodness not just anyone can access them.

“Okay. I will ask the guides to show the past lives that might resonate with you at this point in time,” Martina replied and became quiet.

It took several seconds for Martina to enter a trancelike state. She began to speak and the voice was not her own. A deep male voice was speaking with a distinct Middle-Eastern accent:

 

“Hello, Holly. My name is Kavi . . . I am your guide.”

“You lived a life in Atlantis and fell deeply in love with your college teacher. He was married and would not leave his wife.You became pregnant with his child . . .” The voice paused for a few seconds.

“You lived a life in India in 1500 BC. You were a man in that life, and we were brothers. Your name was Sanjay. We were devout Hindus and ran a spiritual center together where we helped people better their lives . . .” Again, he paused for a few seconds before continuing.

“I see a life as a Roman Gladiator during the year of 47 BC.You were a prisoner of war and forced into fighting for the Roman’s entertainment . . .” More silence.

“You were a baby left on the doorstep of a monastery in Ireland in the year of 816 and raised by monks. You died young, as the monastery was raided and burned to the ground by Vikings. The Vikings gang raped you before cutting off your head . . .” Still more silence.

“I see a life in Germany in the 1340s. You were a young boy and your mother was mean and cruel to you.You left home on the day you turned 16 . . .” The voice again paused.

“I see you and the man who was your abusive German mother. You are both on a Spanish sailing ship in the late 1480s.You are engaged in a fist fight and you kill him . . .” More silence ensued.

 

Tough Karma: A Race Against Time 
Karma Series 
Book 1
Laura Simmons

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Supernatural Thriller
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Date of Publication: January 16, 2017
ISBN: 1478783885
ASIN:  B01NCWLQBK
Number of pages: 224
Word Count: 71,664
Cover Artist:  Outskirts Press

Book Description: 

“Tough Karma - A Race Against Time took my preconceived idea and previous experience of Paranormal Romance, rolled it into a tight little ball and slam dunked it in the bin of old experiences.” The International Review of Books

A chilling tale of loss, tragedy, psychic warfare, and eternal love.

Amber Macklin’s world is cruelly shattered when she loses her baby girl three months after her husband’s sudden death. Her cousin, Bryce, comes to her rescue, moving her into his home for fear she will kill herself from the grief. He provides solace and a shoulder to cry on, and he has loved her as more than a cousin for a long time. Amber and Bryce soon discover they are not blood relatives, which opens the door for romance as he pulls her through her darkest hours. When Mike, a college friend of Bryce’s, stops by to visit, Amber senses a deadly secret behind his nice guy persona. She has a frightening dream that Mike is trying to kill her and recurring sleepwalking episodes where she draws detailed pictures of him torturing her. Deeply troubled, Bryce uses his ability to astral travel to investigate Mike and uncover his terrifying past. Mike has had his eye on Amber for some time, and when he learns that Bryce and Amber have become lovers, he is furious. Mike abducts Amber and takes her to his rural Georgia hideaway, and Bryce must rely on his astral abilities to track her down. But will he be too late?

Tough Karma is a stand-alone novel. The astral adventures continue in Dark Karma: Sword of Vengeance.



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Tough Karma: A Race Against Time - Book One

Seven hours had passed since Mike shot her up with benzo, and they were a little over half-way to his hideout. As the effects started wearing off, she had a vivid dream . . .

. . . She is running through the woods, terrified because Mike is chasing her. She calls out frantically for Bryce over and over, trying to outrun her pursuer, “BRYCE, WHERE ARE YOU? HELP ME! HE’S GOT ME. PLEASE HELP ME!” She hears his voice echoing through the woods, “Amber, baby, I’m on my way to get you. Hang in there; I WILL find you”. . .

A sudden back-handed smack in the face jolted her awake. “SHUT UP!” Mike yelled. “Do you know that you talk in your sleep? Bryce isn’t coming to rescue you. He will never find you. Get that through your head right now.”

He’s surrounded by black, is that his aura?! That’s why I felt a dark heaviness around him and from the pictures I drew . . . the drugs are making me see things. Don’t backtalk, don’t let him know that Bryce knows where to find me . . . I have to survive this; I don’t want him to kill me . . . she thought and looked down at her hands. He had put the handcuffs back on . . . If I weren’t afraid of dying in a car crash or worse, I would attempt to hit him right now. I can do more with my arms and hands in front of me . . . “I have to pee again,” she stated choking back the tears and still feeling the sting from his slap.

“There’s a rest stop ten miles ahead. We’ll stop there. It’s time for another shot of benzo. If you try to put up a fight, I’ll make sure you hurt the rest of the way, badly,” he said coldly.

“Why are you doing this? Why me? Do you really think that you can abduct a woman and make her fall in love with you?” she asked trying to stay calm and thinking of Bryce’s voice from her dream . . . I wonder if that was really him communicating with me. I want to believe it was. Mike didn’t respond to her question and kept his eyes on the road. He wasn’t used to women behaving so calmly. Then again, he was handling her differently than the others and hoping for better results.

Ten miles seemed like forever to her, and they finally arrived at the rest area. She debated different scenarios of getting away from him and screaming for help. Her legs weren’t shackled, and her mouth wasn’t duct taped, yet. He seemed to read her mind and threatened her as he pulled into a parking space close to the restrooms. He drew a handgun from a side compartment in the door, shoving it into her stomach and said, “If you try ANYTHING, including screaming for help, I will gun down everyone I see, and innocent people will pay for your selfish behavior. I’ll make sure you’re killed along with the rest of them,” he threatened with the coldest look in his eyes she had ever seen.

She was getting angry and even though he had a gun shoved into her stomach she responded with disdain, “I don’t want anyone killed because of me, except for you!”

He just laughed and pushed the gun deeper into her stomach, making her wince in pain. “Keep talking like that and I’ll kill you before we get there,” he said. She decided to cooperate and try to escape at a later time. She didn’t think he would kill her this soon, but she was going to play it safe. He shot her up with more benzo and helped her walk to the restroom while he stood outside and waited. In her drugged state she looked longingly at the small windows in the restroom and briefly contemplated how she might escape through them, knowing that she would never make it. When she was finished, she stumbled out the door and he caught her before she hit the ground.

“Come on, honey, let’s get you home,” he said kindly putting his arms around her to help her stay upright. I hate you and your ugly aura . . . she thought and passed out a few seconds after getting into the Jeep.

******

Bryce was driving down the highway when he heard her panicked voice, “BRYCE, WHERE ARE YOU? HELP ME! HE’s GOT ME. PLEASE HELP ME!” He was shocked and heard it again two more times before it stopped. The tiny flicker of doubt he had about whether or not he was doing the right thing was gone. He replied, hoping she could hear him, “Amber baby, I’m on my way to get you. Hang in there; I WILL find you.” The desperation in her voice was heart wrenching, and tears ran down his face while he flew down the highway, not caring if he got pulled over for a speeding ticket. He no longer wanted Mike to end up in jail. He wanted to be the one to put him in the ground and wished he had taken out a hit on him. He blamed himself for not doing that, knowing she would be home safe and happy with him instead of being at the mercy of a madman who would probably beat, rape, and kill her. He continued down the road, fantasizing about the many different ways he would like to torture and kill Mike. He vowed to make him pay.

 

Sword of Vengeance 
Karma Series 
Book 2
Laura Simmons

Genre: Urban Fantasy Romance
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Date of Publication:  September 7, 2018
ISBN:1977201555
ASIN: B07H6KWZZL
Number of pages: 174
Word Count: 59,221
Cover Artist:  Outskirts Press

Book Description:

“Dark Karma is a fascinating story that would surely be loved by any fan of fantasy and romance. Simmons proved herself a competent author in writing a tale of angst, magic, and determination." Reader Views

What would you do if you woke up one morning and your world was inexplicably changed in the worst way imaginable?

Banished by his enemy into a hellish alternate dimension, Luke Decker fights to understand why his world has suddenly changed, and why is he on trial for the murder of his beloved Nina? What he doesn’t know is she’s not dead. Nina watches him vanish into thin air and is completely bereft, struggling to find out how and why he disappeared. Using all of her psychic talents and traversing the astral realm, she frantically searches for him to no avail. She owns a secret item which holds the key to his salvation, but will she figure it out before he’s condemned to live the rest of his life in a realm of darkness?

This remarkable tale of vengeance, time travel, and dark magic is even more enjoyable if you read Tough Karma: A Race Against Time first.



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Dark Karma- Sword of Vengeance – Book Two

Luke awakened before Rogue greeted the day, and noticed thatNina’s side of the bed was empty ... She’s probably in the bathroom.He thought how lonely it was to wake without her lovely, warm bodypressed close to his. He glanced toward the bathroom and the doorwas open and the light turned off ... Maybe she’s in the kitchen. He listenedfor sounds, expecting to hear soft footsteps in the hall or faintnoises from the kitchen ... nothing. Something felt wrong. Getting outof bed, he walked toward the kitchen. It was empty and dark exceptfor a nightlight near the stove. His apprehension grew stronger, theentire house was eerily silent ... I better find her asleep on the lounger.Entering the sunroom he turned on the light and saw her lying on the

chaise lounge, dead. Her throat was slit and blood pooled on the arearug and hardwood floor.

“No! This can’t be happening, I’m dreaming!” he declared, rushingover to the lounger. Seeing her pale, lifeless body and vacant eyesstaring up into nowhere was terrifying, and he convinced himself ithad to be a lucid dream. “I know I’m dreaming, wake up!” he saidto himself. Not being able to wake from what he thought was justa dream, he knelt down and touched her blood with the tip of hisfinger. He’d seen and touched enough blood in his life to know thatthis wasn’t fake.

“This isn’t real, this can’t be real! Who did this to you?” he sobbed,and for the first time in his life felt completely, utterly helpless andtraumatized. Tears rolled down his face, he could barely breathe, andhis stomach indicated he was going to vomit. He forced himself not tospill his guts, and even though her cold, dead body was lying in front ofhim, it still didn’t feel real. His emotional anguish and pain were acute,yet his mind kept telling him that this whole situation was wrong.Pinching and slapping himself hard, he tried desperately to awakenfrom this horrific nightmare. Something whispered to him in the backof his mind, something he should know, yet couldn’t remember whatit was. The one word which came to him was “snow.” Even thoughit was still dark outside, he could see that there was no snow on theground and no white flakes were falling from the sky. I’ve got to call thepolice ... Doing his best to remain rational, he began walking to thebedroom to get his phone when he heard pounding on the front doorand a man’s voice shouting, “POLICE, OPEN UP!”

Clad in just his boxer shorts, he opened the door to find threecops and four patrol cars with their lights flashing so bright he wasmomentarily blinded.

“I’m glad you’re here, I was just going to ...” Luke wasn’t ableto finish his sentence before the officer interrupted and another oneslapped handcuffs on him.

“Luke Decker, you’re under arrest for the murder of NinaPerotti.You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will beused against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. Ifyou cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you

understand the rights I have just read to you?”

“Yes,” he replied between gritted teeth, growing angrier by thesecond.

“With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?”

“I DIDN’T KILL HER! I LOVE HER!” Luke yelled at the top of hislungs. “I’M ALMOST NAKED, BAREFOOT, AND IT’S FUCKINGCOLD OUT HERE!”

“You shouldn’t have killed her then,” the officer calmly replied ashe and another officer led Luke to a patrol car.

He was losing control, something which was normally second natureto him and that he had cultivated throughout his life. He foughtto hold his tongue as they guided him into the backseat of the policecar ... How do they know my name? He observed that the officers were

dressed in black from head to toe, wearing tall cowboy hats, cowboyboots, and each one was carrying and wearing their own personal arsenalof guns and ammunition. Once he was situated in the back seat,the officer pressed on the gas pedal and they went flying into an abyss.He lost consciousness due to the high rate of speed they were traveling.

*****

Bugs were crawling on him when he woke up cold, shivering,and itching. The bug bites were turning into red welts along his torso,arms, and legs. Sweeping them away from his body, he stomped themto death with his bare feet. Most of the bugs were large and crunchyand oozed slime when he crushed them. The entire floor was crawlingwith insects, and he worked up a sweat in his mission to kill each andevery one.

“It’s a good thing I’m not afraid of bugs,” he muttered, crushingthe last batch. His feet itched and burned with the remains of bugguts stuck between his toes while he surveyed his surroundings withdisgust. He was in a jail cell with a packed dirt floor beneath his feetand a toilet in the corner. Now that the irritating bugs were dead, histhoughts returned to Nina.

He missed her terribly and whispered with reverence, “Nina, Ihope you can hear me wherever you are. I’m so sorry about this. Idon’t know who killed you. I don’t know how they got past me in thenight. But I will find them and avenge your death.”

 

Karma: The Resolution 
Karma Series 
Book 3
Laura Simmons

Genre: Urban Fantasy Romance
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Date of Publication:  February 17, 2021
ISBN: 1977237037
ASIN: B08WYCX2ZQ
Number of pages:  170 pages
Word Count:  59,035
Cover Artist:  Outskirts Press

Book Description:

This story picks up where Dark Karma left off. Enjoy the next thrilling adventure into alternate dimensions!

“From the first time I saw you back in the 14th century to the day I was imprisoned in the dark realm, you have lived in my dreams and my heart,” David said to Maddie. He knows that she is the reincarnation of his beloved Cara. Can he convince her that they shared a past life? Will she still want him once she learns the truth? And what about the evil immortal who wants her dead?

“If I can pull a cat from a dream, I can rescue Mori from where she’s being held prisoner,” thought Noah Colton. Each night Mori comes to him on the astral plane, begging for him to save her and vanishing before he can follow. Terrified that she will soon be killed, he travels to another dimension to rescue her and bring her to his home. But what will happen when her captors track her down?

Two, out-of-this-world romantic fantasy stories unfold as David and Noah battle dark forces to save the women they love. Find out what happens when the unexpected intervenes and changes everything in these interconnected stories.



Amazon       BN  


Karma: The Resolution – Book Three

Luke and Nina’s Wedding

February 14, 2015

Maddie couldn’t pull her eyes away from David’s adoring gaze.Before she had a moment to speak, he kissed her. She returned his kiss,opening her mouth to deepen the experience. When their lips parted,he still held her close and whispered in her ear, “Cara, my love. I neverthought I would see you again.”

“Maddie… my name is Maddie,” she replied, breathless andshocked because the sexy man from her dreams had called her Caratoo, although she never saw his face. She realized she should feel insultedbecause he had been brazen enough to kiss her and then call herby another woman’s name, but she wasn’t.

“Maddie, please forgive me, but I know that you are her. Don’t youfeel the connection between us?”

Loosening herself from his embrace, though still gazing into hiseyes she took a deep breath. “My middle name is Cara. And yes, I feellike I’ve known you before. Whether or not I’m the reincarnation ofyour Cara, I don’t know. Although, I’ve had dreams about you for the

past several weeks.”

He replied with an affectionate smile, “Maddie-Cara, I think thaton some level you knew we would find each other. From the first timeI saw you back in the 14th century, to the day I was imprisoned in thedark realm, you have lived in my dreams and in my heart. I know this is

all so very sudden, and you have no recollection of a past life with me.I don’t mean to be so forward with you; it’s just that I wasn’t expectingthis. When Nina showed me your picture it was all I could do tostay composed. I was stunned because you are the exact image of Cara.

I didn’t think you would look so much like her in person. I thoughtperhaps I was seeing what I wanted to see. But your voice, the way youwalk, your facial expressions, your height and figure… you and Caraare one and the same.”

She loved the way he said her nickname and middle names together.“Did you tell Nina about this?”

“No,” he answered shaking his head. “I only said that you lookedlike someone I used to know, and Noah asked if that was good or bad.I just shrugged my shoulders and changed the subject because I didn’twant to talk about it. The pain from losing you… I… I mean Cara, is

still so fresh. I was mourning your death when I was sent to the darkdimension.”

“How did Cara die?” she asked.

He hesitated a moment, eyes glazing over as he thought about LilyNolan, the evil witch who’d poisoned Cara because he had fallen inlove with her and spurned Lily’s affection. He was about to reply whenNoah walked into the room and said with a grin, “I thought I wouldfind you two here. Maddie, your mom is looking for you.”

David was thankful for Noah’s interruption; it bought him timeto consider his response to her question more carefully. Although hewanted to tell her the tragic story, this was a happy occasion and hedidn’t want to spoil it for her. After what Maddie had gone through theprevious night, he now wanted her to have a good time at her sister’swedding and forget her troubles for a while. When she asked him againlater how Cara had died, he told her she was poisoned by a jealous andbitter woman, then swiftly changed the subject to get Maddie to talkmore about herself. He had a good reason for delaying the inevitable.Would she still want him once he’d told her the truth?

 

About the Author:  

Laura Simmons grew up in northern Virginia and spent most of her career working for various Department of Defense contractors in the Washington, DC area. She has a fascination with all things metaphysical. She enjoys adult coloring books, writing, jigsaw puzzles, vacationing at the beach with her husband, and studying tarot cards and other types of divination systems.

Author web links:  On my website, I have a page with a Play List for three of the books in this series.  These songs made me think of my characters and their situations. They are the “movie” soundtracks for these stories.







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Halloween Dance Party Playlist

  Halloween Dance Party Playlist  Tranquil Heights Book One Megan Speece Genre: Paranormal Suspense Publisher: Megan Speece Date of Publica...