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SHORT TALES

Great Balls of Fire

The Lore:

The Hornet Spook Light, Near Joplin, Missouri

I was raised in Northeastern Oklahoma and knew about the Hornet Spook Light long before investigating the area for my book. As a child, we referred to the mysterious phenomena as the Joplin Spook Light because sightings occurred along a rural county road just 12 miles southwest of Joplin, Missouri. Those who viewed the light describe it as a ball of fire the size of a basketball. Others say it is a blue orb that hovers in mid-air with the ability to divide or separate. While descriptions vary, one thing most people agree on is the spook light’s capacity to frighten unsuspecting travelers.

Explanations for sightings typically lean toward the paranormal – the ghost of two young Quapaw Indians with a Romeo and Juliet type ending. A decapitated Osage Chief looking for his head. A miner with a lantern destined to search for his missing children through eternity. But skeptics will tell you it’s nothing more than swamp gas or headlights from a passing car.

Most local residents believe the light has been around since the late 1800’s. Others say it was first documented in the mid 1930’s. As with most legends, origins are murky and details vary. During the 1940’s, the Army Corps of Engineers conducted a study on the Spook Light, hoping to curb the intense public interest. Their final determination only created more questions when they cited it as “a mysterious light of unknown origin.”

If you’re ever in northeast Oklahoma near sundown, wander over to East 50 Road, four miles south of the tristate junction. Stop and sit a spell. Chances are you won’t be in the dark long.

The Story:

Great Balls of Fire

by Debra S. Sanders

Henry Tuttle peered through heat radiating off the road in a scintillating haze. It was hot. What Okies call the “dog days of summer”. He dropped his chin so the bill of his faded John Deere cap blocked the afternoon sun from his eyes then watched a white Prius slow and turn into the long drive leading to his farmhouse. Dust formed in a thick, brown cloud behind the vehicle as it crept over potholes and ruts on a road more suited for high clearance vehicles. The right side of Henry’s mouth lifted. Settling into a corner of the wooden porch swing, he began to rock back and forth in a slow, steady rhythm.

The Prius stopped in a wide gravel area next to the house. A young man emerged, running his finger across a layer of dust coating the shiny paint. Seconds later, the passenger door opened and a girl with puffy red lips and large sunglasses stepped out.

“City folk,” Henry muttered with a quick assessment of the man’s baggy pants and loose t-shirt. The woman wore skinny jeans over even skinnier legs. Massachusetts plates confirmed his suspicion.

The man looked up, spotted Henry on the porch and waved. “Hello,” he called in a distinct Bostonian accent. “Fine day, isn’t it?”

“Almost over,” Henry grunted.

“Yuh, it is.” His chuckle sounded forced. “You lived here long?”

“All my life.”

“Ah, that’s great. I wonder if I could ask you a few questions.” The man glanced at his companion. “We’re journalists, researching a bit of local lore.”

Henry took a deep breath then let it out with a whoosh. He knew the minute they pulled into his drive what they wanted – information about the spook light. It wasn’t as if they were the first out-of-towners who fancied themselves ghost hunters.

“I reckon I got a few minutes.”

“Super! Do you mind if we join you on the porch?”

“Suit yourself. Supper’s in an hour. You need to be gone by then.”

The woman giggled. “Yuh, suh. We promise.”

They brushed dried leaves from two wicker chairs before settling onto the worn seats. The man leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees. “My name’s Peter. This is Emily. We’re writing an article for our travel blog about Devil’s Promenade . . .”

“The spook light,” Henry corrected. “Figured that was it.”

“Yuh, well, we’re researching paranormal activity in the heartland and this particular myth kept popping up so we thought we’d look into it.”

“Have you seen it?” Emily chimed.

Henry pursed his lips, staring at a spot above her head as if conjuring up a memory. “I’ve had my share of run-ins with the damn thing. Most everyone around these parts has seen it at one time or ‘nother.”

Peter licked his lips. His pupils turned to pinpoint as he shifted in his seat. “We’ve read several theories about the light but since you live right here on the road where it is seen most often, we hoped you would have the inside scoop.” His laugh faded into silence. “What is it? Swamp gas? Light refraction? Some sort of geophysical anomaly?”

Henry kept a straight face as he met the young man’s gaze. “Ain’t none of those things.”

“Well, what is it . . . exactly?”

“Riley Crow’s ghost.”

Silence greeted Henry’s announcement. Emily was first to respond, keeping her voice low and pleasant. “We’ve actually heard a few of those myths. I think one source said it might be the spirits of an ill-fated Native American couple. Another suggested it could be a Civil War soldier. However, I don’t think anyone mentioned the name Riley Crow.

“Riley passed on about ten years ago.”

Peter cleared his throat. “But people first reported seeing the light during the 1800’s.”

“Oh, I’m sure it was around back then. Some say this area is cursed so I figure it holds a lot of souls who won’t move on, just like the Quapaw lovers you heard about. Legend goes they wanted to get married but her pappy didn’t think the young brave had enough dowry. He refused to let them join up so they eloped. Pappy sent a hunting party after ‘em. Rather than be separated, they ran to a cliff and jumped off. Died right away.”

Peter cast a condescending smile. “Part of our paranormal research involves debunking stories like that. I mean, there’s really no factual evidence to back up the myth. Is it true the Corps of Engineers investigated the light?”

“Yep, back in the thirties or forties. They ran a bunch of tests and came up empty handed. Look, son, if you talk to ten people around here, you’ll probably get ten different stories about the spook light but one thing’s for sure – anyone who has seen it, don’t want to see it again.”

“Why do you think that is?” Emily inquired. “What makes it so frightening?”

“The unknown, I reckon. I’ve had the damn thing run right in front of my truck. Then in a matter of seconds, it was behind me. One time, it floated towards me, broke into four different orbs and then went and sat in a tree. It’s a crazy sight to see.”

“Have you ever touched it?”

“Nah, but George Stoddard tried to shoot it. He can’t hit the broad side of a barn in daylight so I don’t know why he thought he could hit a moving fireball in the dark.”

Peter chuckled. “Tell me about this Riley Crow. Why do you think the light is his ghost?”

Henry pushed his cap back, scratched the top of his head then reset the hat to its original position. “I have a theory. I think this area is a sort of purgatory for souls who can’t rest.”

“That’s an interesting concept. Why do you think Riley is not at peace?”

“He’s searching for his balls.”

Emily’s eyes widened. “His . . . balls?”

“Yep. Old Riley was missing his testicles when he died.”

Once again, Emily and Peter exchanged looks. “I don’t suppose you’d care to expand on that?” Peter said.

“It’s a pretty gruesome story. Sure you want to hear it?” They both nodded. “Well, okay, then. Riley was a bit of a womanizer. Everyone around here knew he had a strong appreciation for the ladies – everyone except his wife, Lulabelle. She was a big, full figured gal. Good looking in her own right but real jealous. Needless to say, she watched Riley like a hawk.”

“One night, he came home after cozying up with Nancy Brown. Lulabelle took one sniff of the perfume on his collar and knew it wasn’t hers. After an all-night brawl, Riley finally confessed to his indiscretion. He promised never to see Nancy again. ‘Course, Lulabelle’s green eyed monster was all riled up by then. She just couldn’t find it in her to trust him.”

Henry paused to catch his breath. Peter instantly encouraged him to continue.

“About a month went by before Riley got the itch and started tom-cattin’ around. One night, he told Lulabelle he had to go back to the office for a late meeting. She decided to follow him and sure ‘nuff, Riley met up with Nancy at the No Tell Motel up in Joplin.  Lulabelle was fit to be tied. She hid in the backseat of Riley’s car and waited. When Riley came out and started the engine, she popped up and scared the poor man half to death. He listened to her rant all the way home. There was no denying his tomfoolery. She’d caught him red handed.

After they got home, Lulabelle kept readin’ the riot act to him, not even pausing to take a breath. Riley finally told her to shut up. He’d had enough. Vowed to file for divorce the next day . . . which sent Lulabelle right over the edge.

From what I heard, the first thing she did was knock the poor man unconscious with a cast iron frying pan. When Riley woke up, Lulabelle had duct taped him to a kitchen chair. He was nekkid as a jay bird and scared half to death. He tried to reason with her but she didn’t want to hear it. Taped the poor man’s mouth closed. All he could do was sit there and listen. She’d cry, then curse, then cry some more, accusing him of all sorts of things. I’m sure he was guilty of most of ‘em but that weren’t no reason to do what she did next.”

Peter leaned in even further, eyes wide. “What did she do?”

Henry shook his head, staring at the toe of his boot for a full minute before conitinuing. “It was awful, just flat out mean. Lulabelle ran down a list of names of every woman she could think of in a fifty-mile radius, asking Riley if he’d slept with them. I suppose he said yes to just about all of them. He probably thought if she got mad ‘nuff, she might get so disgusted she’d let him go. But there ain’t no one more vindictive than a woman with a broken heart.”

Emily’s hand flew to her mouth. “Oh, dear. What happened?”

“She castrated the man. Cut off his balls with a kitchen knife right where he sat.”

Peter’s complexion paled. For a minute, Henry thought the kid might vomit but then he swallowed and urged Henry to continue.

“Riley passed out, of course. I think any man would. He was bleeding real bad. While he was unconscious, Lulabelle took his testicles, pounded ‘em out flat with a mallet, rolled ‘em in a little cornmeal and flour and fried ‘em up in lard– just like calf fries. I think she intended to feed them to Riley.”

“Nuh . . .” Peter ran to the far end of the porch, leaned over the railing and heaved. When he returned, his shirt tail was wet and stained. “Sorry, man. That was more than I could handle.”

“No problem. I had the same reaction when I first heard it.”

“What happened to Riley?” Emily’s voice was barely more than a whisper.

“He bled out right there in the kitchen while Lulabelle was cookin’.”

“Was she arrested?”

“Nope, and that’s the curious part. She really loved the old scallywag. Once she realized Riley was dead, she slit her wrists and died on the kitchen floor next to him.”

“That’s an . . . interesting story but what makes you think the spook light is Riley Crow?”

“I hear Lulabelle wailing some nights, usually when the spook light is out there bobbin’ around. I think she’s chasin’ Riley, trying to beg forgiveness. Ain’t gonna happen, not for a while. He’s still pretty mad. I reckon they’re stuck in purgatory for the time being.”

Peter sucked in a deep breath and glanced at Emily. “I appreciate you taking the time to speak with us.”

“But you don’t believe me.”

“It’s not that I don’t believe you. The legend of Devil’s Promenade has been around for over a hundred and forty years. Logically, it doesn’t make sense it would be Riley Crow’s ghost.”

“Son, nothin’ about that spook light is logical. You kids believe what you want. That’s all I got.”

Emily was first to stand. “It’s getting late. If we’re going to film the light, we should be going.”

“Don’t keep anything sharp in your vehicle. Lulabelle has been known to throw knives and scissors through the air. Wouldn’t want y’all to get hurt.”

Peter swallowed, joining Emily at the top of the steps. “Perhaps we should discuss our research at the motel. We can return in a few days.” His suggestion met no resistance.

Henry waved as the Prius drove away, travelling down the lane much faster than when it arrived. He lingered on the porch after it disappeared, staring off into the distance. The front door opened and a grey haired woman emerged, wiping her hands on a dishtowel.

“Supper’s almost ready. Better wash up.”

“Sure thing, Mama.”

She narrowed her eyes suspiciously. “Who were those people?”

Henry shrugged. “Just some city folk wanting to know about the spook light.”

“Have you been making up stories again, Henry Tuttle?”

“Now, Mama . . . I was just havin’ a little fun. No harm done.”

Her eyes rolled upward. “I swear, old man. Some days I don’t know what to do with you.”

“I was tryin’ to keep the peace. I don’t think those kids will be back,” he chuckled, “but if they do park down the road, I’ll get out my big spotlight and really give ‘em something to write about.”

His mirth was met with a warning scowl from his wife. She turned on her heel and marched inside, slamming the door behind her.

Henry waited a few minutes longer, enjoying the quiet of the early evening. As he turned, a hazy blue orb bobbed near the far end of the porch. Henry paused, arched a brow, then shooed it away with his hand. “Go on, now git, Riley. I ain’t got time for you and Lulabelle tonight.” He watched the orb float into a tree followed by a low wail in the distance. “I don’t reckon you two will ever get along.”

Shaking his head, Henry shuffled inside and closed the door.

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Horror Short Story: Unmarked Graves

Check out my “other” blog, OlDogandMe.com for new short story series, The Lost Highway – beginning with a free read, “Unmarked Graves”. As you may (or may not) know, I’ve embraced LostHighwayCoverthe nomadic life. Hubby, dog, cat and me are wandering full time in an RV. I research local history and lore along the way, converting those tidbits into short stories that will eventually find their way to a novel length anthology. In the meantime, I’ll post a few shorties on my travel blog along with posts about our travels.

I’m still working on my other novels: Book 2 in the Daisy Red-Tail Novel series, a thiller – Dark Mountain, and by request – Book 3 in the Clans of Tagus paranormal fantasy series. Until then, enjoy this short tale about “Unmarked Graves”.

http://oldogandme.com/the-lost-highway-tales/unmarked-graves/

 

Special Guest Post by L.J.K. Oliva, Author of A WORLD APART

Author L.J.K. Oliva has a real treat in store for us today! Check out her guest post and be sure to read to the end for a code which enables a FREE download of Ptolemy’s Tablet!!! Then stay for the preview of A WORLD APART, Book 1, Shades Below series.

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GUEST BLOG by L.J.K. Oliva

You know how some characters just get in your head and set up camp?

While I was writing my new urban fantasy novel, A World Apart (Shades Below, #1), two characters I hadn’t paid much notice to suddenly starting demanding attention.  They wouldn’t leave me alone until I finally agreed to tell their story, too.

That’s how the idea for my Shades Below Shorts was born.  Meet Rev. Emil Stone and his Peer, Misha “Puzzle” Kaslov.  Emil and Puzzle are supporting characters in the Shades Below series, but there’s so much more to them than what you’ll read in the books.

The Shades Below Shorts are M/M companion novellas to the Shades Below novels.  Below is an excerpt from the first piece, Ptolemy’s Tablet.

Allow me to introduce the guys…

A companion story to Shades Below, Book One: A World Apart

EXCERPT:Ptolemy

“You’re leaving?  Already?”

Reverend Emil Stone clapped his fedora back onto his head and aimed a fond look down at the petite woman in front of him.  The sad tone in her voice tugged at him.  Lena Alan was high on the increasingly short list of people who genuinely enjoyed his company.  He’d let most of his earthly attachments fall away long ago; yet another cost of his chosen career.

He’d almost convinced himself he didn’t miss them.

There was a knot in his throat when he clasped her in a hug.  “I’m afraid so.  This is the first real lead we’ve had so far, and it gives me an idea.  It might be nothing, but Puzzle and I need to check it out.  You never know.”

Lena held him at arms’ length.  Her vivid blue eyes bored into his.  “You promise you’ll keep me posted.”

As if the tone of her voice left him another option.  Emil grinned and dusted a kiss over her cheek.  “You know I will.”

Beside him, his partner cleared his throat and stepped out onto the porch.  Emil pretended he hadn’t heard.  Down time always set Misha Kaslov on edge.  Jesus, the man could be exhausting.  But then, Peers weren’t exactly known for their patience.

Emil rolled his eyes and turned to the man hovering behind Lena in classic older-brother fashion.  “Cyrus.” He gripped the man’s hand.  “Look after things.”

The newest addition to their motley group stood behind them, one hand behind his back, the other wrapped around the curved head of his cane.  Detective MacMillian.  Emil studied him.  Even though they’d just met, the man struck him as above average for a human.

And he was a baro, whatever that meant.

The detective met his gaze, eyes sharp.  Emil resisted the urge to squirm.  Then he bit back a laugh.  When was the last time a mundane had set him on his toes?  Perhaps Jesper MacMillian wasn’t such an odd fit in their world, after all.

Maybe, just maybe, he would survive.

He stepped forward and extended his hand.  It was a calculated risk.  MacMillian’s eyebrows went up.  He hesitated, finally grasped it in a brief but firm shake.

Emil nodded and stepped back.  “Again, thank you.  Jimmy would have spoken to us eventually, but I don’t mind saying the idea of applying more pressure was… unattractive.”

MacMillian’s jaw ticked.  “To both of us, believe me.”

Emil inclined his chin.  Torture was a nasty, messy business, even if the unfortunate mark already happened to be dead.  He turned on his heel and strode to where Misha stood waiting.  He paused, and looked back over his shoulder.  “Watch after each other.  All of you.”

Misha shifted back and forth, itching to go.  Emil finally followed him down to the sidewalk, didn’t turn when the door of The Wayfare Hotel clicked shut.

He scarcely noticed their surroundings as they walked.  Over the last decade, the mundane realm had become incidental, almost inconvenient.  Had he really lived in it for so long?  Really expended energy learning to drive, tracking down the best restaurants, stressing over gas prices?  Looking back, it all seemed so pointless.

Now he had bigger things to worry about.

“So.  Any ideas?”

Emil jerked out of his thoughts to find Misha looking at him.  “Sorry.  What?”

Misha’s lips twitched.  “Ideas.  You know.  About what’s going on around here.”

“Right.  Of course.” Emil hesitated.  Something was nagging at him.  He couldn’t quite pinpoint what it was.  Hell, it was scarcely anything at all, just a small prickle at the outermost edges of his mind.

Misha was still looking at him.  The feel of the man’s eyes made something quicken in his belly.  Emil took a deep breath.  “What if it’s not just one thing?”

Misha’s eyebrows drew together.  “What do you mean?”

Emil blew the breath back out.  “I don’t… hell, I’m not sure.  Haven’t things felt off to you lately?  I mean, more than usual?”

The crease in Misha’s forehead deepened.  “Off…?”

“Yeah, you know.  Off.  Remember Basque, a few weeks ago?  And Marrakech, last August?  I’m telling you, something’s not right.”

“Marrakech is never right in August,” Misha muttered.  He fell silent.  Finally, he nodded slowly.  “Let’s say you’re right.  One problem at a time.  Your Wayfare Hotel.  What do you make of their newest guest?”

“I’m not sure.  That detective may have gotten him to talk, but that doesn’t mean he was telling us the truth.”  Emil stopped walking.

Misha stopped too.  “You told the Alans you had an idea.”

Emil hesitated.  “I do.  Well, sort of.”

“Sort of?”

Emil shifted.  “It’s thin, but I think it merits running down, just in case.  How’s your Masri?”

“Terrible.” Misha arched an eyebrow.  “But yours isn’t.”

Emil allowed himself a tiny smile, and started walking again.  “Ha’ee’i.”

♦♦◊◊♦♦◊◊♦♦◊◊♦♦◊◊♦♦

All the Shades Below Shorts will be offered free to my newsletter subscribers, but as a thank-you for stopping by (and in a shameless bid to get you as obsessed with my new series as I am), simply punch in this code and get your free copy of Ptolemy’s Tablet: EY88Z

Extras!

Emil/ Puzzle Pinterest Board

Emil/Puzzle Spotify Playlist

About the Author:

LJKL.J.K Oliva is the devil-may-care alter-ego of noir romance novelist Laura Oliva.  She likes her whiskey strong, her chocolate dark, and her steak bloody.  L.J.K. likes monsters… and knows the darkest ones don’t live in closets.

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A World Apart

Shades Below

Book One

L.J.K Oliva

WorldApartGenre: Urban fantasy

 Book Description: 

“There are things that go bump in the night, Mr. MacMillian.  It’s my job to bump back.”

Private investigator Jesper MacMillian was sure he’d seen it all.  After all, in a city like San Francisco, strange is what’s for breakfast.  Following a long  recovery after a horrific accident, his life is finally the way he wants it- or at least, close enough.  The only monsters on his radar are the ones that keep him awake at night.

All that changes the day he meets Lena Alan.

Before MacMillian has a chance to brace for impact, Lena drags him into a world where monsters aren’t just real, they’re hiding in plain sight.  Suddenly, everything he knows is suspect, starting with his current case.  For Lena, a medium since childhood, it’s just another day at the office.

For MacMillian, it’s the beginning of the end of everything he thinks he knows.

Available at Amazon

 Excerpt:

The elevator came to a stop.  The doors started to open.  MacMillian backed away and shook his head.  “Do me a favor.  Leave now.  Don’t come here again.”

He stepped into the hallway, then froze.  Clustered outside the door to the office was a horde of people, the widest slice of humanity he’d ever seen crammed into one place.  There were cowboys, businessmen, soldiers.  Native Americans, what looked to be early Chinese, and more than a few women resembling the one from the side street.

The woman stepped out of the elevator behind him.  She hissed.  “Jesus.  Is it always like this here?”

MacMillian stared down at her.  “What are you- you can see them?”

She rolled her eyes.  “Well, obviously.  I’m a medium, remember?” She started down the hallway, paused, and glanced over her shoulder.  “Are you coming?”

MacMillian hung back.  She shrugged.  “Suit yourself.”

She walked up to the edge of the crowd and cleared her throat.  “Okay, someone want to tell me what you’re all doing here?”

Multiple heads swung towards her.  An elderly man in a suit that would have been the height of fashion in the late eighteen-hundreds stepped forward.  MacMillian strained his ears, but he couldn’t hear what the man said.  The woman listened closely, made a curious sound in the back of her throat and turned back to him.  “He says there’s a medium here.  Are you sure you’re not sensitive?”

He was feeling rather sensitive, but he shook his head.  “I don’t even know what that means.”

The woman humphed.  “That’s what I thought.”  She turned back to the man.  “So you’re all here to be moved on?”

The man nodded.

Her shoulders relaxed.  She reached out and took the man’s hand in hers.  His eyes widened, then a peaceful look came over his face.  His lips turned up.  White light appeared in the center of his chest, expanded outward until his entire body glowed.  With what looked like a sigh of relief, he evaporated.

MacMillian’s jaw dropped.

The woman moved slowly through the crowd.  Hand after hand reached out for her.  She took each one, held on until its owner flashed white and disappeared.  By the time she reached the office door, the hallway was empty.  She leaned back hard against the wall and closed her eyes.

MacMillian didn’t remember moving, but somehow he was standing in front of her.  He closed his free hand around her arm and towed her inside, not stopping until they reached his office.

He slammed the door.  “What the… what was…” He dragged a sleeve across his brow.  It was drenched in sweat, but his skin felt freezing.

The woman watched him, her eyes sympathetic.  “Rough day, Magnum?”

He glared.

She sighed and rubbed her forehead.  “That, my dear detective, was the other San Francisco.  You’ve probably seen it before, just out of the corner of your eye.  You’ve probably dismissed it all your life.  Maybe you always told yourself you’d just had too much to drink.”  She paused, her gaze heavy on his face.  MacMillian squirmed.  “But I’m guessing you always knew better.”

His head was throbbing.  He shook it once, twice, but it didn’t clear.  “I don’t get it, Miss…”

“Alan,” she supplied.

He nodded.  “Ms. Alan.  Why are you here?”

Her eyes darkened.  “Because there are things that go bump in the night, Mr. MacMillian.  It’s my job to bump back.”

 

 

Another Day, Another Contest – FEAST OF FATES

The contests just keep coming . . . good news for those who love winning FREE books! This time the author is giving away FIVE signed copies. Shipping to US and Canada.

ENTER HERE and cross your fingers!

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Feast of Fates

Four Feasts Till Darkness

Book One

Christian A. Brown

Genre: Fantasy Romance

Date of Publication: September 9, 2014

ISBN: 978-1495907586

Number of pages: 540fates cover

Word Count: 212K

Cover Artist: Brian Garabrant

Book Description:

“Love is what binds us in brotherhood, blinds us from hate, and makes us soar with desire.”

Morigan lives a quiet life as the handmaiden to a fatherly old sorcerer named Thackery. But when she crosses paths with Caenith, a not wholly mortal man, her world changes forever. Their meeting sparks long buried magical powers deep within Morigan. As she attempts to understand her newfound abilities, unbidden visions begin to plague her–visions that show a devastating madness descending on one of the Immortal Kings who rules the land.

With Morigan growing more powerful each day, the leaders of the realm soon realize that this young woman could hold the key to their destruction. Suddenly, Morigan finds herself beset by enemies, and she must master her mysterious gifts if she is to survive.

Available at Amazon and Createspace

Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/8E_RVXgpqB8

Excerpt:

Morigan took the bracelet.

“I accept your offering.” The Wolf’s face lit and she thought that he would leap at her. “Yet first, I have a request.”

“Anything, my Fawn.”

“I would like to see…what you are. The second body that shares your soul. Show me your fangs and claws,” she commanded.

Perhaps it was the steadiness of her voice, how she ordered him to bare himself as if he belonged to her that made the Wolf’s heart roar to comply. He did not shed his skin but for the whitest moons of the year, and even then, so far from the city and never in front of another. In a sense, he was as much a virgin as she. With an unaccustomed shyness, he found himself undressing before the Fawn, confused for a speck as to who was the hunter. The flare of her nostrils, the intensity of her stare that ate at him for once.

I have chosen well for a mate. She is as much a Wolf as I, he thought, kicking off his boots and then shimmying his pants down to join the rest of his clothing. No bashful maiden was Morigan, and she did not look away from his nakedness, but appreciated what she saw: every rough, hairy, huge bit of him.

He howled and fell to all fours. Bones shifted and snapped, rearranging under his skin like skeletal gears. From his head, chest and loins, the soft black hair thickened and spread over his twisting flesh. His heaving became guttural and sloppy, and when he tossed his head up in a throe of agony or pleasure, his beard had coated his face, and she noticed nothing but white daggers of teeth. Wondrously Morigan witnessed the transformation, watched him swell with twice the muscle he had possessed as a man, saw his hands and feet shag over with fur and split the soil with black claws. Another howl and a final gristle-crunching shudder (his hindquarters snapping into place, she thought) signified the end of the change.

Her dreams did not do Caenith justice. Here was a beast twice the size of a mare with jaws that could swallow her to the waist. Here was a monster that had stalked and ruled the Untamed. A lord of fang and claw. The birds and weaker animals vanished, knowing a deadly might was near. Around her, the Wolf paced; making the ground tremble with power; ravishing her with his cold gray gaze; huffing and blasting her with his forceful breaths. While the scent of his musk was choking, it was undeniably Caenith’s, if rawer and unwashed.

Morigan was not afraid, and was flushed with heat and shaking as she slipped the bracelet on and knelt. She did not flinch as the Wolf lay behind and about her like a great snuffling rug and placed his boulder of a head in her lap. No, she stroked his long ears and his wrinkled snout. A maiden and her Wolf. Soon the birds returned, sensing this peace and chirping in praise of it. And neither Morigan nor the Wolf could recall a time—if ever there was one—where they had felt so complete.

 Christian authorAbout the Author:

Christian A. Brown has written creatively since the age of six. After spending most of his career in the health and fitness industry, Brown quit his job to care for his mother when she was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 2010.

Having dabbled with the novel that would eventually become Feast of Fates for over a decade, Brown was finally able to finish the project. His mother, who was able to read a beginning version of the novel before she passed away, has since imbued the story with deeper sentiments of loss, love, and meaning. He is proud to now share the finished product with the world.

Links

http://christianadrianbrown.com

https://twitter.com/AuthorChrisAB

https://www.facebook.com/ChristianAdrianBrown

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8422242.Christian_A_Brown

https://plus.google.com/u/0/105782095673393074893/about

FREE eBOOK! The Noru by Lola StVil

Free eBook – Blue Rose, Book One PLUS – scroll down to enter a contest for The Last Akon, Book Two

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The Noru

Blue Rose

Book One

Lola StVil

Genre: YA Fantasy

ASIN:  B00LKSYV9C

Number of pages: 397

Word Count:  73,062

Cover Artist: Renu

Book Description:

“After speaking to the other angels on the team, I hang up my cell and sigh. No one’s heard from Aaden in months. This bothers me not only as the leader but as his girl–well if I was his girl–which I’m not. 
Great. Now on top of being grounded, I’m sitting here acting girly and needy. Argh!!!

Screw this! I start to head downstairs to plead my case to my parents again, when something out the window catches my eye. I lean in closer to get a good look. What I see astounds me: soundlessly and without hesitation, the humans line up and jump off the roof one at a time…”

PLEASE NOTE: This book contains a scene in chapter 12 that is for mature audiences only. Readers can skip this chapter without missing any info vital to the plot.

Available Free at Amazon  

Also Available at iTunes   Nook   Kobo

Excerpt:

“That didn’t look like nothing, Pryor. He’s terrified. You were Binding him,” my dad accuses.

“A little,” I admit, avoiding eye contact.

“You could have killed him,” she says.

“I wasn’t going to hurt Principal Walsh. I just wanted him to shut up. He was going on about conforming to the status quo, and frankly that’s unacceptable behavior for an educator. I was doing humanity a favor by rendering him silent.”

 

About the Author:LOLA STVIL

Lola was seven when she first came to this country from Port-au-Prince, Haiti. She attended Columbia College in Chicago, where her main focus was creative writing. In addition to plays, she also writes screenplays and short stories.

She has been commissioned to write for ABC, CBS and Princeton University. She won the NAACP award for her play “The Bones of Lesser Men”. In addition to being nominated for LA Weekly awards. Her work has also received positive reviews from The LA Times, Variety and LA Weekly.

http://www.lolastvil.com/

https://www.facebook.com/guardiansgirl

Twitter @guardiansgirl

Instagram @authorlolastvil

Newsletter http://eepurl.com/W-scP

 

 

TOUR GIVEAWAY

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5 WINNERS will receive a free copy of THE NORU: BOOK 2: THE LAST AKON

Rafflecopter – ENTER HERE

 

 

 

 

 

RELEASE DAY of Book 2 – Asylum Tales DEMON’S VOW

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Demon’s Vow

The Asylum Tales Book 3.2

Jocelynn Drake

Publisher: Harper Voyager Impulse

Release Date: October 21, 2014

ISBN 006235941X

ISBN13: 9780062359414

Bestselling author Jocelynn Drake continues her urban fantasy series with the second installment of the Final Asylum Tales, Demon’s Vow.

Book Description:

Tattoo artist and warlock Gage is having a rough week. He’s trying to track down a mysterious murderer in Low Town while also chasing a powerful entity using forbidden Death Magic across the nation.

When Gage discovers the two forces may be trying to unite, the stakes get even higher. With Gideon’s help, Gage is determined to stop the murderers before anyone else gets hurt – including his girlfriend, Trixie.

Available at Amazon

DRAKEAbout the Author:

By day, Jocelynn Drake is a clean-cut financial editor, picking apart stories about Wall Street and the global markets. But in her free time, she writes about a dark underworld where vampires and warlocks rule.

The author of Dark Days and Asylum Tales series, she lives in Florida with her husband, dog, and cat. When she’s not working on her next book, she’s usually hiding from the sun by playing video games.

http://www.jocelynndrake.com/

http://jocelynndrake.blogspot.com/

https://www.facebook.com/jocelynn.drake

https://twitter.com/JocelynnDrake

 

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