Chessie Durand and her collie travel through stargates on angel assignments, discovering different worlds and the extent of her supernatural powers through a merkaba necklace gifted from a man who has loved her for many lifetimes.
BLURB: More Than s Star Traveler
To come back to Earth Three in his collie form, Chap agrees to go on Angel Assignments with his beloved human. Chessie Durand is sometimes amazed and sometimes frustrated as she learns how to use the powers of a mystical necklace given to her by a man who has loved her for many lifetimes.
Peter Stravel knows Chessie is his Chosen One when he travels through the stargate to her dimension. However, their love and their lives are threatened by those who want to destroy Chessie before she realizes her full power as the One who travels in the light of the merkaba.
Their survival depends on learning to trust their love and use their supernatural powers, as they team up with animals who play a special role in their lives.
EXCERPT: More Than a Star Traveler
I smell smoke.Chap lifted his nose to the air, then climbed out of his bed next to Chessie’s to open the french doors into the conservatory in the middle of the farmhouse.
Stars twinkled in the night-time sky, seeming unaware of the curl of smoke rising from the trees to the west of the farmhouse.
“Woof!” Chap returned to Chessie’s bed and nudged her awake. I smell smoke and it’s close. Too close!
The sleepiness instantly cleared from Chessie’s brain. She shoved her feet into the shoes that constantly waited beside her bed since she and Chap had started their angel assignments, then rushed out into the conservatory. “Omigosh! Wake the others and let’s get the sprinklers going to soak down the buildings.”
As the others stumbled from their beds, RT shouted, “Go to the barns, Chessie, and talk to the animals to calm them. I’ll turn on the pump in the creek to start the sprinklers.”
Peter joined Chessie as she ran toward the barn. “I can see flames. This fire is moving fast.”
“Let’s get the animals to the stargate. We can escape through there.”
Peter turned in a slow circle. “It’s all around us. This is no accident.”
Chessie followed his gaze and realized Peter was right. “Bring the animals to the pool. I’m going see how the merkaba commands water.”
When Chessie touched her necklace, she instantly materialized in the middle of the pool, envisioning the waters splitting to flow around the farm and extinguish the flames.
Soon, Peter and Kiki and the dogs appeared, shepherding the animals from the barns toward the water. The animals milled around, uneasy as the fire closed in around them.
RT splashed alongside the creek to help, coughing from the smoke now settling over the meadow. “The water’s rising in the creek, but we need more. The flames are still coming closer.”
“Chap, what can you do with angelic connections?”
Calling on them now.
I’m here too.Grandfather Alston appeared among the flames. Why didn’t you call me earlier?
“Knew you’d want to come in at the last minute and play the hero.”
“Maybe we can add some rain to go with the waters of the creek,” Peter said.
When Peter took Chessie’s hand, fat raindrops began falling around them.
“Did you feel that surge of energy?” Chessie touched Chap and the rain increased. “Kiki, put your hand on Chap’s head. RT, Grandfather–”
On it.Alston’s image shimmered between Kiki and Peter, forming a human and angelic chain between the advancing fire and the animals.
“The creek’s rising again and spreading out.” RT yelled as the rains fell harder and harder.
The roaring beast of fire hissed as the waters of the creek challenged its advance, and the rains pounded the flames from above. With the roar of the flames muffled by the water, the reassuring sound of sirens became audible in the distance.
Before the group could catch a breath of relief, human screams erupted as a strange man ran across the meadow grass toward them.
No, not a stranger.
“I’ve seen that man before,” Chessie said.
The arsonist we saw in the park planning to frame someone else for a fire he started. He’s also the man we saw by the fire near Gio the Cat’s house.Chap stood protectively between Chessie and the man now close enough to see the fury etched on his face.
“You cannot take this victory away from me!” He threw the contents of a red can toward the group then flicked a lighter. The shield of the merkaba activated instantly, forming a clear, glass-like container that trapped the arsonist inside with the gasoline and the flames.
Close behind him, Deputy Doug Burkhart drove across the bumpy ground in a sheriff’s SUV. He screeched to a stop and flung open the door, staring at the sight in front of him. “What the–”
The arsonist stood encased in a clear shield. Flames still burned, though all that remained of the man was the expression of impotent fury on his face.
Doug slowly approached and walked around the crystalline flame sculpture, then lifted his phone to snap a photo of the arsonist. “I guess Brant Aagney truly went out in a blaze of infamy.”
Only the first media cameras to reach the scene recorded the mysterious face in the flame. By morning’s light when law enforcement wrapped up their investigation, no sign of what used to be a human remained. Only a beautiful crystalline sculpture in the shape of a flame.
Free spirited Larena Graham must learn to trust Gavin Broom, the handsome Scotsman, to protect her and keep her from harm.
BLURB: Larena's Fascination
Whispers of Fascination
Fiery, free spirited Larena Graham never wanted to marry a duke. She is thrilled to be in love with the fourth son of an aristocrat, Gavin Broon. But when it seems Gavin ignores her, she set her sights on politics and bettering human life. Unsuspecting intrigue and a plot against her, she continues her dangerous plans despite Gavin's wishes.
Whispers of Trust
Gavin has every intention of properly courting the beautiful Larena until he must leave the city in order to put his affairs in order. Returning to London, he finds the woman he means to make his own is embroiled in political protests that could lead to a prison ship. Larena must learn to trust the handsome Scotsman whose most pressing mission is to protect her and keep her from harm.
EXCERPT: Larena's Fascination
Strange noises emanated from the adjoining room, grunts mostly and muffled yells. She straightened on her bed, pensive and so very curious. She tried to concentrate and hear the words. Tempted to check on Gavin, she stood but thought better of intruding on his privacy. Still intrigued as the noise continued and trying to ignore it, she found herself at the window looking out on the blackness of the night.
A loud crash caused her to jump. Unable to stay away, she strode to the door between their rooms and cautiously opened it. She inhaled a startled gasp. Gavin faced her, his chest bare and covered in a sheen of moisture that seemed to glow when the candlelight flickered across him.
“I didn’t mean to wake you.” He let his hands fall to his sides, his bared feet braced apart. Suddenly as if realizing he was practically naked, she searched the room in an attempt to keep from staring at his imposing frame.
“You didn’t.” Mesmerized by him, by his body in a trance she stepped to him, touched her hand upon his chest and heard the quick inhalation of air, felt the beating of his heart.
He set his hand upon hers. “Larena,” he spoke her name slowly, his eyes gazing into hers.
She yearned to see into his mind, read his thoughts, “You’re so different from me.” With the slightest twist of her fingers she touched his nipple and delighted in the feel of him. She regarded him closely, smiling into his eyes.
He didn’t laugh as she thought he would. His voice so sincere and strangely deep, he said, “I’m glad of that.”
Unable to help herself, she brought her other hand and set it on his other nipple. “I like the way you feel. What were you doing that caused all that noise? What crashed to the floor?”
“Trying to get rid of pent up emotions, but I don’t think it’s going to help after this.” He spoke slowly then, “The basin, as you can see it’s shattered. I’ll pick up the pieces in the morning.”
“Pent up emotions?” She didn’t understand what he tried to do, why he was grunting and yelling albeit quietly.
“My body wanted to do something my mind didn’t.” He ran his fingers through the length of her hair, bringing a strand to his face, touching his lips to it. “Silken fire, so soft I want to wrap it around me.”
“You speak in riddles.” She moved her hands lower, tracing the hair on his chest to just above the fastening of his pants then back, marveling in the play of his muscles where her fingers travelled. Intrigued by the obvious change in his breathing and fascinated she could do this to him.
“And, Larena, you really need to stop.”
“Not unless you make me.” She continued running her hands along his chest and upward to sweep them across his shoulders.
“It’s best for you if I tell you no.” He held her hands in his in front of him, placing light kisses on her knuckles. “You should go to your bed now before we both regret this night.”
“I’m not sleepy. Indeed, my heart races and it seems I’ve grown hotter by the second. Don’t want to spend the night alone. Want to be in your arms.” She remembered when he barely touched her breast and the way her body quickly responded, and she marveled that perhaps she had the same effect on him.
“Come,” he drew her to the door. “What you’re innocently creating here is best left for the marriage bed. I’ll walk you to your chamber.”
“I want to stay with you.” She realized she didn’t care what others thought but rather she wanted to live in the moment. Only two of her sisters and cousins combined had waited for marriage to find out what happened to a woman in bed with a man. She didn’t even know if she loved Gavin or wanted to marry him. She liked him though and who better to teach her?
“No. Not tonight,” he told her, drawing her toward her room. Inside, he pulled her close and lightly pressed his lips to hers then let her go as if the touch burned him. “Your bed.” He pointed in that direction then watched as she sat forlornly on the bed.
She watched the door close behind him then found herself at the window again. Shadows played across the street, and moonlight brightened the darkness. Below her a shadowed form strode quickly from the townhouse and a few minutes later she saw Gavin gallop down the street.
Lainie MacPherson let the crumpled wanted poster drop to the ground. Her stomach knotted and fear snaked down her spine. Beneath the shadows of the hooded cape she wore, Lainie searched the room for her enemies.
Every man here fit that description.
Forced into a trap of her own making, out of courage, friendless, and terrified Lainie did the only thing she could think of to bring the pig Bertram to his knees.
She would steal the temptingly displayed secret papers that were on the table in front of her. Papers she hoped showed troop movements--papers stamped with the King's seal--papers she could hand over to her brother, Hawke.
First Lainie made sure the shadows in the tavern hid her from view, shrinking into the dark interior, hiding her face with the hood of her cape. She tried not to stare at the dark-haired stranger who had absent-mindedly set his jacket and satchel on a table with the documents she sought poking out almost as if they challenged her with a secret invitation. The man’s dangerous, dark looks sent a strange sensation of heat coursing down her spine.
English soldiers like Jericho Manning and Rory Slater were more dangerous and more terrifying than any highland lass should have to deal with. To make the situation worse, she didn’t need a dark-haired stranger to make her fingers shake and her insides quake.
Lainie inhaled a deep steadying breath. Easy, she told herself. Go nice and slow. The stranger looks half-drunk and the tavern maid sitting on his lap has all his attention.
"What’s in it for me?" Rory asked Jericho, his haggard features lighting up with anticipation and snagging Lainie’s attention.
"Only what Bertram wants to give you himself." The dark stranger looked at the
English officer. The fingers on one hand tapping the oaken table top impatiently.
Rory’s toothless grin sent a shiver of fear down Lainie’s spine.
"Jericho always gives me his left-overs," Rory said. “You going to give me this one?”
Rory’s diabolical laughter sealed the darkness in her heart.
Jericho nodded then leaned forward. "I want the lass. And I’ll have her before I give her over to Bertram. She’s only a whore."
Lainie nearly gasped but stopped herself. Courage, Lainie, you’ve been in tighter spots than this. It was not her plan to give herself away to these men.
She inhaled a long, deep breath once more and reached for the satchel beneath the soldier's jacket. A few more seconds and all would be hers. A few more seconds and she would hand the papers over to a friend. Someone who would carry them to the Scottish King.
She committed no treason here.
She was Scottish to the core.
This was for the good of her country--not England. Besides she’d already been labeled a traitor by the crown of England. She had nothing to lose.
If Bertram suffered a set back, his lack of attention caused the problem.
Aaron Slade let his hands slide up and down the arms of the lass sitting on his lap while his steely gaze seemed to be riveted on Lainie MacPherson.
He knew what the young woman was up to before she’d committed herself to stealing. He had read the determination in the girl's posture when she backed into the shadow-filled corner of the tavern, pulling her dark cloak around her slender frame and letting her hood shadow her face. The combination of steady eyes and slightly trembling fingers had given her away.
He would make sure neither Jericho nor Bertram could get their sweaty hands on the girl. He’d heard stories. He believed them--every word.
Jericho didn’t even realize the girl he sought stood in the corner. Moreover, Slade didn't mean to tell Jericho. Slade had his orders. He was to find her and bring her to Edinburgh where she would be tried for high treason. The charges were lame. Now that he watched her stealing the phony papers he’d planted in the pocket of his jacket, he wasn’t quite so sure.
The rumors had it that a lot of men had wanted the lass, but none had gotten her. He’d thought all along Bertram had been one of those men. A cynical smile shifted the line of Aaron’s black mustache. There was nothing new in that particular game. Teasing and promising men something they wouldn’t give was a primal game played by every woman ever born.
But there was something very different about this woman.
An air of sadness and vulnerability emanated from her. Aaron methodically lowered his lids when he glanced from the girl who sat in his lap to the woman whose fingers were closing over the sealed documents. He couldn't help but stare at her. The woman's eyes were a clear, uncanny blue that matched the color of the sky on a bright summer day. The few strands of hair escaping her hood were so blond they were nearly white. The cloak she wore was plain, but did nothing to hide the lush fullness of her figure beneath the cloth. The vision he imagined set him to thinking about what it would be like to unfasten the cloak, strip away all the other fabric covering her and touch the luminous skin that lay beneath the tattered cloak.
Aaron was irritated at the direction his thoughts went. He was certainly experienced and old enough to keep sexual need away from his mission. He had been taught and teased by the most expert females on this earth. He’d learned more than one lesson at their hands.
Looking at Aaron, Jericho swirled the contents of his tankard.
"I don’t figure I can trust any man. Who’s to say that if you find the girl, you won’t want to keep her for yourself," he said to Aaron. "She might be worth a damn sight more than what old Bertie is paying you to bring her to him."
The devil you say," Rory retorted with a smug grin. "I have it on good authority and knowing old Bertie for years, he likes nothing better than to share soiled goods. We both know he’s the only one who can save the girl from a conviction of treason."
Jericho looked coldly at Aaron but didn’t refute Rory’s statement.
Aaron urged the tavern wench from his lap and kept his eye lids lowered slightly. He watched the girl, and if he was right, she was about to dip her hand into the pocket of another man. She had moved from her spot near his table, using the shadows in the tavern to hide herself. She brought up a fat purse and slipped it inside a different sack than the one she’d put the papers she’d stolen from his satchel.
The stories about her were intriguing enough, but it was the rumors of Lainie MacPherson’s spying that held his interest. To him any one who could spy on his country was a traitor. But Lainie MacPherson, if she was anything like her brothers, was Scottish bone deep. To Lainie, what she did here would not be treasonous because she would be loyal only to the Scottish King James. In addition, the rumor--the ones of Lainie prostituting herself for information--didn’t bother him. Women did what they had to do to survive. And if the rumors were true, he would find a way to enjoy her charms while he took her to Edinburgh for trial. To him women’s flesh was sweet and soft, but women were as fickle as newborn kittens. They were far too easily corrupted, and so many times they turned out to be less than they seemed. He never let any woman touch his heart.
Silently, Aaron measured the distance between the door and the MacPherson wench and wondered at the innocence, or was it guilt, he saw flash in her eyes for one brief moment when she met his glance. From what he’d heard, the Scottish cause was everything to the MacPhersons. This would not be the first time they pitted their clan against the English crown.
But this time it was the most foolhardy.
The smile he gave Lainie made her look away. He watched as her shoulders quivered, and she shrank back into the shadows. He felt a wave of nausea sweep through him when he thought of Lainie being at the mercy of a man like Bertie for even a single night, much less until Bertie grew bored with her and gave her to Jericho and Rory.
Silently, he told himself he would never let her fall into Bertie’s hands, because he meant to bring her straight to the authorities in charge. If she were guilty of treason, she would be prosecuted. If she were not guilty, he would see she was set free and he would personally escort her home.
For the first time, he felt justified in his mission and the exorbitant pay he would receive for handing the girl over. If anything, there was a certain justice in cheating Bertie out of his spoils. He acknowledged that once he caught Lainie, he would have not only Rory and Jericho after him, most likely the MacPherson brothers would be on his tail as well.
A man bumped into Lainie near the door. Aaron thought he would see her pick this man’s pocket too. The movement was quick. Except for the slight of hand and Aaron’s vigilance, he would have never seen the exchange of the satchel from Lainie’s hand to the man's. The document Lainie just handed over was worthless, but the stolen goods were not. They would find out soon enough he had baited her, set the trap, and she’d fallen for it. Would he have Lainie in his possession when that was accomplished? Or would Jericho?
Aaron shifted slightly, not wanting to give Jericho and Rory any indication that he meant to leave. His hand was on the hilt of his sword. Silently, he measured the catlike elegance of the girl with the determined posture and long back. It would not be much longer when Jericho and Rory discovered their own missing goods.
He rose and walked toward the door, barring her way if she meant to flee yet he was not sure he would stop her. "You sure you wouldn’t want to stay a while and keep me company, Miss…what was the name again?" Aaron asked, though he knew very well.
"’Tis naught your business," she said softly, lowering her dark sooty lashes as if she meant to flirt. "A gentleman would not ask a lady he didn’t know."
Lainie MacPherson’s voice sounded calm and controlled. Nevertheless, he knew she’d been in this position often enough, that she knew how to handle herself and no longer hesitated, knowing full well the consequences if she did. In any case, her compliance was not a part of his plan for her abduction.
Aaron’s instincts kept whispering that this woman was somehow different from women like Sarah and Anna, unfeeling women who cared nothing about anyone save themselves and the fortune and titles that could be gained from marrying into the right families. At the same time, he had no doubt Lainie MacPherson could kill a man.
"You should take heed," Aaron said softly, ignoring the other man who had now slipped quietly out the door.
"Remove your hand. sir," she told him indignantly.
Aaron shrugged, outwardly indifferent, his fingers settling once more on the hilt of his sword, ever wary of the girl and her next move.
The tavern’s hush changed into a humming of male voices as people left their drinks and focused on the pair standing so close to the door where unbeknownst to them an unspoken challenge had just been issued by both parties.
The stakes revolved around a woman named Lainie MacPherson and release from the commission he’d bought so many years ago he couldn’t remember. As for the bounty, Aaron Slade didn’t care a damn about it.
Aaron was certain he would end up the winner in this cat-and-mouse game. Besides the obvious, he wondered how the woman with trembling mouth and steady blue eyes had ended up on a wanted list issued by King Henry himself and standing in one of Scotland’s most infamous taverns. So intrigued by her he would move heaven and earth to learn her story.
"I know what you handed over to your companion," Aaron said with a bit of impatience, trying not to give away his purpose before it was necessary.
"I don’t know what you mean," she said softly with a sardonic smile gracing her intriguing mouth.
"You stole something that was mine. I mean to get it back. You need to remember that England rules this land--all of it." He inhaled deeply the soft scent of her that seemed to be hers alone. It seemed to possess all his senses.
Her shoulders stiffened as her gaze raked over him. "I’m Scottish, and loyal to James," she said, her voice wavering. "Henry doesn’t rule me or my kin."
The wolfish smile Aaron gave Jericho stopped him cold in his tracks.
"Who’s the girl?" Jericho asked pointedly. "You the sharin’ kind, Slade?"
"No one of interest," Aaron said smoothly lying to Jericho.
Aaron moved in front of Lainie, blocking the men from seeing her face and her hair. He didn’t know if they’d recognize her but something Rory had said earlier made him think Rory at least had met her. Given a choice, he would have taken her by the arm and escorted her away from these two cutthroats. Now he didn’t have a choice. He would have to let her go and hope he could catch up to her.
Lainie could melt into the forest if given a chance. She knew these lands better than most. And her companions were sure to be waiting for her a safe distance from the tavern. If her friend wasn’t waiting for her, where would she go? A sudden and unmistakable sickening feeling swept through him. Fear for this slip of a woman clouded his judgment.
The first half of Julie Ayers' junior year could not be going any worse. Balancing life between Earth and Seras is taking its toll on her, and things are about to get a lot worse.
The first half of Julie Ayers' junior year is going horribly wrong. Balancing life between Earth and Seras is taking its toll on her. She doesn't know who she can trust, her best friends are fighting, her basketball coach is harassing her, and things are about to get a lot worse. As the forces of evil in Seras strengthen their resolve against those that oppose them; Queen Pallanex moves to secure aid from distant supporters, and launches an attack on those that Marcus feels necessary to protect. William's plan begins to take shape to destroy Allon and give Pallanex power beyond Seras or Earth. As Julie already struggles to figure out the meaning behind Redderick Bobo calling her the "Betrothed", a much deadly secret is suddenly revealed that will shake her to the core.
“Oh my gosh!” Julie stomped up the stairs and stormed through Mr. Campbell’s basement door to his living room. She had waited until she heard Mr. Campbell exit the basement before opening her eyes. She quickly threw on her navy-blue shorts and her white tee-shirt with green sleeves and “Home of the Cedar Creek Penguins” printed in green on the front. Traveling through the crude portal drawn on Mr. Campbell’s basement floor was something she had become use to; arriving at her destination, whether it be on Earth or Seras, completely naked was a total inconvenience. “I can’t believe that man!” She pulled her long brown hair back into a ponytail with trembling hands. She wanted to cry.
Mr. Campbell was sitting on the couch. He had his palms placed together, lifted toward his face with his fingertips resting on his lips, the middle part of his nose that separates a person’s nostrils, and the tip of his nose. Julie wanted to scream at her mentor and high school teacher, even if he was a fake teacher, but she refrained. His cat, Shakespeare, was resting on the back of the couch. The pure white feline was excited to see her.
“Now, would you like to tell me what happened between you and Bobo?” he asked her with his calming sincere nature. He stood and put his hands on both of her shoulders. He was so tall, much taller than her five foot three-and-a-half-inch body. She could feel the strength in his hands, and the warmth. He made her feel safe.
A large breath escaped her lips. Julie looked into his blue eyes and hesitated. “He told me so much. He told me about how your mom and dad met. He told me how Pallanex killed your father. He told me how you killed Pallanex.” Julie pulled back long enough to look him in the eyes. “You slit her throat...just like that?”
Mr. Campbell didn’t move, and didn’t say a word.
Julie continued, “He told me the Elderess Eryx possessed Pallanex’s body, and now she is a hundred times more dangerous, more evil, and even more powerful. He told me I have Tolth’s blood running in my veins, and that means I’m some kinda angel...human crossbred. And then he told me because I have angel blood in me, I am the only one who can kill Pallanex. But you already knew that, didn’t you?”
“No, stop! Maybe you can tell me exactly why he called me the ‘Betrothed’?”
Mr. Campbell reared back slightly. “Julie, I have never heard that before.”
“Don’t lie to me!” Julie pulled away.
“I’m not lying. I’ve heard you called ‘The Heart,’ ‘Savior,’ ‘Tolth’s Gift,’ and a few other things, but never the ‘Betrothed.’ What did Redderick say?”
“Nothing. He denied saying it and tried to back pedal his way through some lame excuse that he confused my story with a different one.” Julie put her hands on her hips. “How can I believe you?”
He took a step closer.
“No!” She shook her head. “He’s...he,” she stammered. She couldn’t repeat the words going through her head. Betrothed, what does that even mean?
“Julie, wait. Whatever he meant...”
“Never mind,” Julie said, holding up a hand to stop him from whatever he was going to say. “I’ve gotta go.” She bent over to pet Shakespeare goodbye.
“Julie,” Mr. Campbell spoke softly.
She didn’t turn around. Julie flung his front door open and raced to her car, the Purple Jellybean, her birthday gift from her parents this past June, and pulled out of his apartment’s parking lot.
Once safely down the road and away from Mr. Campbell, Julie burst into tears. “What did he mean? Why did he say that?” She slammed her hand against the steering wheel. “No, I can’t let him do this to me.” She wiped her eyes with one hand then brushed her sleeve across her runny nose as she continued driving towards home.
It was one of the few times she was glad she had the ten minutes or so drive from the village of Sunset. The drive gave her enough time to pull herself together. Julie let out a deep puff of wind as she turned into her driveway. “Okay, compose yourself, Jules.” She parked Jelly Bean next to her mom’s minivan. She checked her look in the mirror. It was a good thing she didn’t wear a lot of make-up, but the small amount of mascara she did apply the day before that survived the trip to Seras and back, had streaked her face enough to look like she just endured a zombie apocalypse.
Julie wiped her eyes and cheeks with her palms and got out of her car. She started shaking her body, hopping up and down, and letting out another gush of air to relax before walking in her house. “Be normal, everything’s normal,” she tried to convince herself as she walked up the front steps and opened the door.
“Mom! Dad!” she yelled, entering the house. She looked in the family room then the living room. “Mom! Dad!” she repeated.
“Hey, honey!” her mom, Michelle’s voice rang through the hallway as Julie headed toward the kitchen. “We’re out back.”
Julie opened the sliding screen door that led to the family’s back patio. “What are you two doing?” Her mother and father were sitting at the glass table on the deck. They were laughing and smiling under the shade of the patio umbrella. Julie didn’t like coming out here since the night she threw up in front of Mr. Campbell, the night after Callista was murdered by the giant, Junta, in what the people of Seras called the Battle of Yellow Fields. That was on her birthday, a little over a year ago. The worst birthday present ever. That night she vowed to Mr. Campbell she would never to return to Seras. Now, after Redderick Bobo’s apparent slip up, she wished she would have kept that promise.
fantasy, medieval, hero, Seras, adventure,
Blog URL: http://www.techinanutshell.blogspot.com/
A playboy, a second son and a shifter, a man who thought his life would be carefree, Carr McKenna was shocked to discover the woman he’d paid as an escort is a firestarter who is running for her life. He is the leader of all the McKennas around the world and that he has multiple powers. His passion for Margo and the need to defend her might cost him his life as well as hers.
EXCERPT: Sweet Misbehavin'
In a sign of unity, they linked arms and strode to Phaedra's room. She picked up the crystal, and walking onto the balcony, Phaedra held the clear orb toward the sun. "Take us to Jokul, wherever he might be." Phaedra began to chant as the crystal seemed to take on a life of its own.
Splinters of sunlight hit the glass ball. The glow surrounding the crystal flowed into and around the girls. The world turned and spun. All the colors of the rainbow wrapped them in a protective tunnel.
Margo closed her eyes against the blinding light, clinging to Phaedra as they hurtled through space. She felt the difference. Time was not changing, only their destination.
In a matter of seconds, they were set down on a ledge of ice. Laughter echoed through the hallway then thunderous booms. Margo motioned to Phaedra to follow her. With caution, they walked toward the sounds. The building they were in shook and the ice columns around them swayed as if they might fall.
"What is it?" Margo felt nausea roll in her stomach. For a moment, she closed her eyes, hoping to understand what was happening and how to deal with it. She tried to remain composed, knowing the ability to think and react in a rational manner would serve her well.
A young girl cowered in a corner, a collar around her neck. Tears flowed down her cheeks. She turned from them when she saw them, her body trembling.
Phaedra knelt beside her. "Are you Jokul's slave?"
The girl looked up, terror clearly written in her eyes and nodded, "yes."
"Where are they? Where is Jokul? And what is he doing?" Margo's impatience grew exponentially. Fear spiraled, yet she forced control of her emotions and tried to remember everything she'd learned.
"Down that hall. He has killed. The big cats didn't have a chance. He is keeping one alive just to torment him." The girl's shaking hand rose from her lap and pointed.
"You'll be fine." Phaedra cupped the girl's cheek with her hand. "I promise. When this is finished, I will come back for you."
The girl didn't say anything. Instead she stared back with a vacant and torn gaze as if she didn't believe Phaedra.
"Jokul will not survive this day. I promise you. You will be set free." At her sides, Margo clenched and unclenched her fists. She meant to do this and suddenly she was no longer terrified of Jokul, his ice or his threats. With each passing second, her courage and confidence grew.
Several heartbeats later, Margo stepped inside the room where the slave girl sent her. The sight caught her breath. Carr's siblings and cousin were frozen ice statues. Relief that Carr wasn't frozen swept through her. Yet fear for him immobilized her for a moment. She watched him leap into the air, avoiding an ice bolt Jokul shot at him.
So consumed with their fight, neither male noticed their entrance to the room. Time was apparently on her side. Before anyone knew she was there, she shot fire at the three guards, their bodies aflame. The inferno lit the room. Then she turned her attention to the demon. Focusing on Jokul's back, she raised her hand, sending fire his way. Seeming to feel the searing heat, he whirled.
Rage lit his face then a smile. "You have come back to me but it is too late." He sent a torpedo of ice her way. Unflinching, she met it with fire. For a second, confusion creased his brows. She saw determination and rage in his face and a moment of confusion.
"You cannot defeat me." More powerful than ever, he sent another wave of ice towards her.
She met ice with fire. "No, Jokul, I'm not an innocent young girl who has no idea how to use her powers. Phaedra has taught me well. Did you think I would always be weak and in your control?"
Rivulets of water from the melting ice ran across the floor. Carr let out a mighty roar and leapt toward Jokul, bringing him down. They rolled on the floor, Jokul caught between Carr's claws.
At the close proximity, Jokul was able to slather Carr in a coat of frost. He broke free, scrambling to his feet and sending a small coating of frost to entomb Carr.
Margo could not risk Carr's life. Yet she remained ready for the battle, waiting for the right moment. Jokul left his mark on Carr once more. Then he rose, his frown growing.
"I will end you, Jokul," Margo said. "There is no other way." Her arms extended, her hands pointing to Jokul, she was poised on the brink of no return. She recalled the spoken words of caution. If she ended his life, there would be repercussions felt around the world. But if she did not, her life as well as the McKenna's would be threatened.
"You're very certain." Jokul's laughter encased her soul and terrified her. Once again, he sent a stream of ice, and once more she melted it with her fire. "You're no longer the weak little girl who fled my care."
"I told you it was so. I am strong, stronger than you because I have love for these people. You have only hatred to guide you." Her heartbeat slowed and assertive energy surged through her.
Phaedra remained behind Margo. "You must finish this. His strength is great. You must strike now before he regains his energy field. You cannot outlast him and you have the others to think of."
Margo tipped her head slightly, noticing how Carr had thrown off the cloak of frost and was stretching his muscles. While she kept her focus on Jokul, Carr looked at her and nodded.
She heard Carr's words in her mind. You have no choice. He means to kill all of us if he survives.
Reviewed by Harps Romance Book Review
I have just finished this book and it was awesome! Carr McKenna meets Margo on her first night working as an escort to support herself and her young daughter. Margo is an untrained firestarter so when she gets mad things catch on fire. She is running for her life from an ice demon named Jokul. Carr is more than he seems as he is a shapeshifting jaguar. And he has more powers that he is just learning about. He sees Margo as his life mate when they meet as sparks fly. Can he save Margo from her stalking demon with the help of his family? Read and find out! I thoroughly enjoyed it.