Category Archives: DarkWorld

Grave Debt: Chapter 1 Sneak Peek

GRAVE DEBT the 7TH book in THE SKINWALKER SERIES is  getting close to release so I figured I’ll drop the first chapter here and then escape back to my cave.

Questions in the comments if you have any. SW7 Grave Debt New 29Jul18.jpg

 

 

GRAVE DEBT

Chapter 1

It was a dick move.

Logan knew he’d taken the coward’s way out but he hoped he’d worded his letter in such a way that Kai would know he hadn’t meant it was over. Because it wasn’t.

Not by a long shot.

How could it possibly be over when the woman meant more to him than life itself. Though the irony that he was–for all intents and purposes–fleeing from her in the dark of night, wasn’t lost on him.

What would she say when she finally did read the letter?

Logan wasn’t all that sure he wanted to know. He had no idea how long it would take before Kai returned home, but Logan knew he couldn’t wait any longer.

“You are such an asshole,” muttered Sienna, her dark tone slicing deep into his heart as her eyes and her body–and now too, her voice–displayed their utter disgust, disapproval and and disappointment in his actions.

His sister’s arms were folded as she paced the carpet in what had been Logan’s room for the duration of his recuperation. Her narrow naked feet made no sound on the carpet as she strode back and forth, blue-painted toes sink deep into the thick pile, though her bearing and her expression screeched her fury, louder than any dragon-call.

Sienna’s golden eyes were cast down upon the wool fibers in a dark glare, as though the red and green interweaving patterns were somehow responsible for the status of the asshole in question.

Logan didn’t answer, his thoughts on Ivy who he planned on roping into his subterfuge, and who he would soon abandon to face her granddaughter’s ire alone.

Though at first reluctant, Ivy had eventually conceded, oddly enough in lukewarm agreement with Logan’s need for a quick departure. An agreement that had somehow escaped Sienna’s awareness as she broadcasted her fury at him.

With his mind on Grams, Logan missed a timeous response to his sister’s question, his silence now drawing a disgusted snort from Sienna. He glanced up just as she snapped, “Well, I suppose the fact that you’ve admitted what you are–and that you’re not denying your status–should count for something.”

She huffed and paced some more, arms now unfolded, fingers flexing restlessly at her sides. As she walked, she waggled her hands near her thighs and every so often a brilliant gold-orange flame or two would spark at the tips of her long elegant fingers, followed by a cloud of tiny embers as they spun around and around then floated to the dark carpet.

“You’d better be careful, Sienna.” Logan smirked, losing control of the urge to smile. “Keep doing that and we’ll be repairing carpets before we leave. Or worse yet, watching as the Odel home as it burns to the ground.”

Sienna stopped pacing and spun around to face Logan, her eyes flickering with undulating fire. “I’m not stupid, Logan. If anything, that’s a label best kept for you,” she said tipping her head in the direction of the blackened wall on the other side of the bed. Sienna smirked, eyes sparkling in amusement as Logan’s cool narrowed gaze settled on the round scorch-mark emblazoned on the wall of Kai’s bedroom.

Though Logan cast about for a suitable snarky response, his guilt made it somewhat difficult to absolve himself, even if it meant his defense against his smartass sibling.

At last, he shook his head. “That’s what you would call being overwhelmed with emotion and lacking full control.” It was a weak argument, but Logan wasn’t lying. On hearing of Kai’s injuries and admission to hospital, and then the deliberate attempt to   her for the murder of Anjelo’s mother, Logan had been filled with emotion, with such fear and rage that he hadn’t been able to control his fire, which had exploded from his hands, a flaming ball of near-destruction.

Thankfully, he’d managed to grasp hold of the energy and reined in the full force of the power in just in time. He’d made a mess of the wall, with its tiny red-flowered wallpaper–and had seared the top half of the white-painted wainscoting, grateful the damage hadn’t been any worse.

Sienna twisted her lips. “Pfft. Excuses. And don’t think I didn’t notice that neatly done change of the subject.” She shook her head, then blew a lock of her coppery hair away from her eyes. “Can’t you just face her like a man? Talk to her, explain what you need to do.” Sienna let out a disgusted breath–she’d stopped talking so suddenly that Logan stiffened with concern before eyeing her suspiciously from beneath his eyelashes.

Then, after having confirmed Sienna wasn’t about to lose her shit, Logan inhaled slowly. “I know her way better than you, Sienna,” he said softly. “She won’t just let me go. She’d want to help me. She’d insist on coming with, to support me. That’s just who Kai is.”

“And what’s so bad about that?” Sienna folded her arms again, her chin jutting out as she spoke. She lifted an eyebrow. “I have it on good authority that the walker in question is pretty reasonable and understanding. It’s what I like most about her–straight talker, no beating around the bush and no hiding away truths.”

Logan shook his head. “Firstly, Kai has enough on her mind. The High Council nonsense is enough to twist anyone up with all their rules. And now the setup?”

Sienna snorted again. “So, you’re running away because some stupid council said you and Kai can’t be together?”

Logan swallowed the urge to snap at her, to tell her to leave him alone, but he forced the urge away, knowing that her first concern was for Kai. The two had grown close, with Sienna having the utmost respect for Kai, the fact that Kai had been the one to help Sienna use her ability to shift probably only adding to the reasons.

Now Logan smiled. “It’s not a matter of running away. Kai has her responsibilities, and right now I’m the distraction. I’ve been that for her ever since I went into that coma. And Kai gives her all when it comes to people she cares about. With me out of her hair, Kai may be able to see things a little clearer. Without her emotions–and mine too–clouding her decisions.”

“And you? Are you leaving her because you need a clear head, too?” Sienna asked, her tone part curious, part critical as she turned to face him, body and eyes waiting.

Logan nodded. “Partly. I’m not sure what we’re going to be facing when we get to Drakys…home.”

“So what exactly are you expecting?” asked Sienna after a brief pause, one eyebrow raised.

“I’m not entirely certain what to expect. What if they don’t accept me? You they know already, you’ve had the way paved. But me? I’m still not even sure I understand why I’m needed.”

Sienna took the three steps over to Logan and put her hand on his arm. “I’ve told you as much as I already know, but there is a whole lot of knowledge that is kept exclusively for the ears of those on the throne. They’ll tell us everything before the ceremony, of that I’m pretty sure.” His sister’s eyes held a confidence that seemed to rub off on him, and he prayed that she wasn’t just spouting embellished truths for him in order to make things easy for him

Logan put his arm around his sister’s shoulders and gave her a squeeze. He was sometimes surprised at how much he cared for her–this seemingly tiny slip of a thing–and, given that he’d spent the majority of his life entirely ignorant that she existed, it surprised him too to understand the depths of his love for her. He’d also spent half his life believing he’d been the one who’d murdered the man and woman he’d believed were his parents–not to mention all the other live’s he’d taken on that fateful day.

He’d struggled for almost a decade, bearing the burden of being a mass murderer who also bore a notch in his belt held the name Sonia–Sonia Odel who had been Kai’s sister in law. Iain’s wife.

Only, that burden hadn’t been Logan’s to bear, a truth he was not well aware of, although it was a truth that he had no intention of revealing to Sienna yet.

Or ever, if he could help it.

More secrets.

CLICK TO PRE-ORDER

 

Haven’t started the series?

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#1 SKIN DEEP

#1.5 PYROS

#2 LOST SOUL

#3 LAST CHANCE

#4 BLOOD PROMISE

#5 SCORCHED FURY

#6 FATE’S EDGE

#7 GRAVE DEBT

Want to check out the DARKWORLD UNIVERSE Timeline?

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Grave Debt: Logan’s an epic a**hole and he knows it.

GRAVE DEBT the 7TH book in THE SKINWALKER SERIES is out coming and I’ve been playing around with some images for inspiration and came up with this for Logan and his inner struggles as well a his external battles. He’s between a rock and a hard place in Grave Debt and he has to make a choice between his responsibility to his country and his friends.

Logan’s an epic a**hole and he knows it.

But he’s got responsibilities, never mind that until a few weeks ago, he’d had no clue they were his to bear. But it doesn’t matter because now he knows, and an entire kingdom awaits his return. And his sister needs him.

And Kai also needs him.

Logan must fight this inner battle, between his obligations to his people and his duty to the woman he loves.

A pathetic goodbye.

Logan leaves Kai behind, in a way that he cannot deny is cowardly. But his relationship with Kai wasn’t over and his note was not a final farewell. Still, the panther was going to be pissed.

You can’t get rid of Kai so easily.

Logan finds it’s not that easy to leave the persistently stubborn panther walker. His immersion into his duties and his obligations is disturbed by Kai’s arrival in Drakys, but she comes bearing terrible news of his closest friend.

The djinn needs saving.

Saleem is in dire need of his help, a matter that is literally life or death.
And Logan must again make a choice, between those he cares for in the EarthWorld, and those who need him in his home realm.

The wrong decision could cost him.

The island between his two obligations is a narrow and precarious place, and all eyes are on him. The wrong decision could cost him in ways he knows he’d never recover from.
Note: If you are reading SoulTracker and SkinWalker series please note that Blood Moon should technically be read before Grave Debt as it is Saleem’s story. If you read Grave Debt first, you will go into Blood Moon with major spoilers.

Previously I advised you read the SkinWalker novel first and then the SoulTracker novel, mainly because it was all about Kailin’s missions and Mel popping in to help out when needed. For Blood Moon and Grave Debt, it’s the other way around.

For more information please check out the Reading Order at my web site. CLICK TO PRE-ORDER

 

Haven’t started the series?

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#1 SKIN DEEP

#1.5 PYROS

#2 LOST SOUL

#3 LAST CHANCE

#4 BLOOD PROMISE

#5 SCORCHED FURY

#6 FATE’S EDGE

#7 GRAVE DEBT

Want to check out the DARKWORLD UNIVERSE Timeline?

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Skin Deep: In the blink of an eye her comfortable life is gone…

Haven’t read Skin Deep (A SkinWalker Novel #1) yet? 💕🔥

By night’s pale light, Kai hunts evil on the streets of Chicago…

Her human friends have no idea that a supernatural worlds exists alongside theirs. No idea shifters and demons walk in the shadows. And Kai prefers to keep it that way.

That is, until she discovers the body of a murdered shifter. The discovery quickly embroils her in a world of supernatural drug-dealing and renegade shifters who leave a trail of blood and mayhem wherever they go.

When Logan Westin, paranormal investigator and super-hot human, begins investigating the same murder, Kai refuses to allow her feelings to control her. Humans are off-limits, no matter how sizzlingly sexy they are. But can Kai keep him at bay? And does she even want to?

In the blink of an eye her comfortable life is gone, a dear friend murdered, and shifters are disappearing around her. To survive and to save her loved ones, Kai must allow herself to trust Logan, to give her scarred heart to someone again.

➡️ CLICK TO BUY NOW!⬅️

Blood Moon: Betrayal, lies & a path to her destiny.

Mel faces the worst of her struggles yet in BLOOD MOON as she journeys to Mithras, realm of the mystical and powerful Djinn.

Mysteries abound, new friendships are made, old ones are tested to breaking point, and keep an eye out for appearances by characters from RETRIBUTION – Chronicles of the Irin 1

Blood Moon Release Graphic 1

Chapter 1 follows:

#spoiler warning: Crossover scene with Fate’s Edge – SkinWalker 6 so if you’re reading that series first and don’t want spoilers, stop here, read Fate’s Edge and come right back.

CHAPTER 1

The minivan rocked beneath our feet as Kailin and I landed in shadowed interior of the back of the vehicle, the heels of my boots sliding on the ridged metal floor.

Kai’s shudder was only a manifestation of my own feelings toward the claustrophobic tomb-like space that reeked of rubber and oil.

After my recent jaunt in New Orleans, and my recent freedom from the evil spirit that had been an all too heavy burden to bear, both on my mind and my body,  I’d taken a few days to recover. but what with the death of my friend and mentor, Samuel Fontaine—or murder, if my suspicions were correct—weighing so deeply on my mind, I was happy to lend a hand where needed and occupy my thoughts with something more practical. Especially if said helping hand would be returning the favor very soon.

When I’d turned into such a mercenary bitch, I had no idea.

I was helping skinwalker Kai on an unusual mission, one that was a surprising change of pace in that this time, the alpha panther’s own life was at stake. Previously, when she’d called on me for help, she’d been running off to save other people, so being roped in to assist in saving the woman herself as was a refreshing change.

Threatening letters and attempted abductions had culminated in Kai being framed for the murder of one of the higher ranking officials in the Walker Council. After emergency surgery—not a huge issue for a powerful alpha like Kai–she’d been sequestered at the Chicago PD’s headquarters where the decision was made that she be extract if she wanted to keep breathing.

Dangerous forces were in play, and with the reappearance of the supposedly dead Agent Jones of Division 7, Kai was forced to hide out, in order to draw the assassins out of the shadows and so she could remain alive long enough to find out what in the hell was going on.

Additionally, the public theory leaked courtesy of the FBI–that Kailin herself was some sort of scientific experiment on the loose–had resulted in overzealous reporters and hired mercenaries on her tail, the latter being of the abducting asshole kind.

The–perhaps even more distasteful–alternative was that the collected contingents of assailants, abductors and attempted murderers were targeting Kai because she was Nia’mh. So far though, it appeared they were only aware of Kai. If you counted the attempt of the Shadowman to kill me in NOLA, then perhaps they were aware of me too.

So she’d called in the troops to help her avoid these unseen, unknown variables, and to help understand who they were and why they were after her in particular.

Helping her stay alive was a small side-benefit.

Still, it wasn’t as if Kai was doing nothing while keeping her head down. And now, we were in the middle of a brilliant ruse, tricking Kai’s assailants into following a decoy. Fake-Kailin—aka Cassandra Monteith, the ShapeChanger—was currently posing as Kai in order to draw away the nefarious elements so we could spirit the panther to safety before Shadowmen or Division 7 agents got their hands on her.

We’d barely materialized in the back of the minivan—situated outside Kelpie & Co, an awesome little ice-cream play a few blocks from the CPD—when a somewhat high-pitched voice came from the driver’s seat. “I was expecting you,” he said, giving a short laugh, startling both Kai and myself. “But just not like that.” The man’s voice was filled with nervous amusement, and yet his tone echoed the edginess that had haunted me for the last hour or so.

My shifter friend blinked and glanced toward the cop who was her assigned driver, her green feline eyes glowing in the darkened interior of the van. “Sorry,” Kai said, waving at him in greeting and apology. “You ready to leave?” she asked, clearly not wanting to waste time on chatting, or on hanging about any longer than was required.

I understood her need to keep moving. Like me, she was undoubtedly questioning how truly loyal this man was to Chief Murdoch. Betrayal seemed to be quite fashionable these days.

Especially among the creatures of the DarkWorld.

And though Chief Murdoch may be all-too-human, he was still neck deep in the supernatural world—his Mind Mage wife notwithstanding. The Chief had helped Kai from the start of her troubles, and though he was overstepping his human, and not to mention his legal—authority, he’d been all too happy to instigate the plan to get our favorite alpha shifter to safety.

“Ready when you are, ma’am,” the cop replied, turning to tug at his seatbelt.
As the belt clicked, I released Kai’s arm, a ripple of discomfort, mingled with concern, riding a wave through my body. I’d held onto her as though she were about to disappear—but who could blame me for being worried?

Not worried, Mel. Afraid. Be honest.

So I was afraid too. Considering I had a crapload of things to be worried about, main point of concern being a certain djinn who was imprisoned in his palace back in the Mithras.

Saleem was waiting for the team to gather and come to extract him. And Kai was part of that team, so she’d damned well better remain breathing.

Now, Kai glanced back at me, seemingly oblivious of my inner turmoil. “Thanks, Mel,” she said, her voice low now. She looked like she wanted to say something more, but I evaded her eyes—which were usually all-too observant—and retrieved a notebook and pen from my jacket pocket.

Holding  them out to Kai, I said, “If you want to send me a message, just write it here. Don’t use your mobile phone, just in case.”

The notepad—an ingenious trick I’d learned from Samuel—was the best way I knew how to circumvent any cameras or listening devices discovering our communication. Hopefully they would help when Kai needed updates—because we all knew how the alpha shifter loved to remain on top of things.

“Thanks, Mel,” Kai said, her head bobbing although her expression seemed somewhat distracted. That I could totally understand.

Her world had fallen apart around her.

We’d all been through the ringer these last few months and I was beginning to wonder when it would all end. The landscape kept shifting, betrayal seemed to lurk around every corner, and it almost felt as if the very air held a warning that something was about to happen, something huge.

If it had anything to do with the Niamh, the prophesied five who would save the world—no pressure or anything—then I wouldn’t be in the least bit surprise. That mysterious letter had turned up with its strong prediction, bit with a very disappointing lack of a manual, or even a mentor to tell us what was. Required of us.

It often made me wonder if it was all just a joke.

Now, all I wanted to tell Kai was that everything would be okay, and that she didn’t have to worry. But—because I was merely an astral projector and jumper and not a seer—I merely said, “Pleasure. Just make sure you stay safe.”

I hesitated, Saleem’s face hovering in from of my vision. Kai had to back me up, so for Saleem’s sake as well as mine, she’d better be okay.

I took a ragged breath and said, “I need you to help me with Saleem.” I winked, trying to make things a little less tense, a little less demanding than the way the words had come out sounding. Then I took a step away from Kai, readying myself for the jump.

She grinned, her eyes sparkling at the mention of Saleem. “I will. Don’t worry. I’m going to be right beside you when we go bring home the djinn,” she assured me, her tone serious now as her amusement faded to be replaced by worry and fear for Saleem.

I knew I could trust her to help me, to help Saleem, which was such a relief. Kai had a history with the djinn anyway, they’d been friends even before I’d met him, so I knew that she, along with Logan, would also be invested in making sure Saleem remained alive and breathing.

Still, I wasn’t sure how much longer I was going to be able to wait before I lost it and ran off to Mithras without backup. Which would probably be a very bad thing to do.
“Gonna hold you to it,” I said, giving Kai a comforting smile.

Then, with a quick wave, I jumped away from the minivan, keeping my fingers mentally crossed that the mission would go as planned.

PREORDER BLOOD MOON (SoulTracker 5) releasing 30th JUNE 2018

In case Blood Moon is your first exposure to The SoulTracker Series and you want to catch up, below are the links to check out the rest of the series.

#1 BLOOD MAGIC

#2 DEMON KIN

#3 BLOOD CURSE

#4 DEMON SOUL

#5 BLOOD MOON

Also, don’t forget that the SoulTracker Series is part of the DarkWorld Universe. Explore the DARKWORLD UNIVERSE TIMELINE on my website to find out which books you’ve read and where they fit within the timeline of the other series: SkinWalker Series and the Chronicles of the Irin.

Oh, and be warned… More series coming soon!

 

Will our favorite SoulTracker make the ultimate sacrifice?

Melisande Morgan faces a battle in BLOOD MOON, but she has little idea what it will entail as she gathers her team together and plans her mission to the Djinn Realm.

Amidst budding romances and shocking revelations, we find our team struggling to save the heir to the Djinn throne, while ensuring their mission to Mithras is not a one-way trip.

Here is an excerpt from the first few chapters.

(Be warned: this way leads to unedited words… and a sort-of-kind-of spoiler. XXXs hide the details…)

I stared at Steph, and remained unmoving until she glanced over at me briefly. Then, eyes back on the road, she said, “So what? It’s not as if I’m about to head off into the sunset with him and go make a brood of XXX babies. I’m pretty sure that must be illegal somewhere.”

I frowned at that then shook my head. “Well, as long as you go in eyes open, Steph. I don’t want you to get hurt.”

She shrugged, pretending nonchalance though her jaw clenched a fraction; just enough to negate her feigned indifference. “It goes where it goes. For all I know, it’s just a crush and he’ll snort or fart or something, and I’ll be grossed out and wouldn’t want to see him again.”

I cleared my throat. “Er…that brings me to my next question.”

“Which is?” Steph gave me a wary glance, then focused on the road again.

“About XXX(his kind). Are they all…I mean…is everything accounted for…you know,” I said waving a hand at my lap while trying, and failing, to hide a smirk.

“Shut up, Mel. That’s gross.” Clearly she’d caught my crude gestures out of the corner of her eye. Her peripherals seemed to be working just fine.

“What’s gross?” I asked, eyes wide and innocent. “Hanky-panky? Knocking boots? Horizontal lambada? Boin—”

“Mel!” Steph yelled, her eyes rounded as she glared at me.

“Eyes. Road,” I said firmly, hiding my grin for a paltry three seconds. “Sorry, Steph. I couldn’t help it. I mean, seriously, I don’t know anything about the anatomy of XXX(his kind). Not certain I’d be able to offer big-sisterly advice you know. Birds and the bees and all….”

XXX: spoiler-care 😉

If you have read Fate’s Edge, then you need to know that in Blood Moon Mel reveals what happened to her during her mission to help Kailin stay alive. Want to avoid spoilers? Read Fate’s Edge before you jump into Blood Moon.

PREORDER BLOOD MOON (SoulTracker 5) releasing end JUNE 2018

In case Blood Moon is your first exposure to The SoulTracker Series and you want to catch up, below are the links to check out the rest of the series.

#1 BLOOD MAGIC

#2 DEMON KIN

#3 BLOOD CURSE

#4 DEMON SOUL

#5 BLOOD MOON

Also, don’t forget that the SoulTracker Series is part of the DarkWorld Universe. Explore the DARKWORLD UNIVERSE TIMELINE on my website to find out which books you’ve read and where they fit within the timeline of the other series: SkinWalker Series and the Chronicles of the Irin.

Oh, and be warned… More series coming soon!

 

GRAVE DEBT PREORDER LIVE

I’m currently working on getting Blood Moon and Grave Debt both lined up for release. It’s been interesting as we see more of Nerina and Saleem in both these books. And of course the zoom in on Nerina is just a taste of what you will get when her series (DeathTalker) is released later this year.

🎉GRAVE DEBT is on PreOrder 🎉

Grave Debt: A SkinWalker Novel #7

DarkWorld: SkinWalker

Kailin Odel drops everything to help her friend Mel Morgan. But helping Mel isn’t the main reason. Saleem’s friendship means the world to her, and she’d give her life to save him.

The only problem is Logan. Unable to get word to him of the danger Saleem is in, Kai returns to Drakys to enlist his help. Time is short and Logan must decide between running his kingdom and saving the life of his best friend.

The tension mounts in this 7th book in the SkinWalker series, as friends place their lives on the line, and lovers risk heartbreak, all hoping that the risks will all be worth it in the end.

CLICK HERE TO PREORDER

 

 

Haven’t started the series?

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#1 SKIN DEEP

#1.5 PYROS

#2 LOST SOUL

#3 LAST CHANCE

#4 BLOOD PROMISE

#5 SCORCHED FURY

#6 FATE’S EDGE

#7 GRAVE DEBT

Want to check out the DARKWORLD UNIVERSE Timeline?

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GRAVE DEBT COVER REVEAL!

🎉EXCITING NEW COVER FOR GRAVE DEBT! 🎉

Grave Debt: A SkinWalker Novel #7: A DarkWorld Series (DarkWorld: SkinWalker)

Kailin Odel drops everything to help her friend Mel Morgan. But helping Mel isn’t the main reason. Saleem’s friendship means the world to her, and she’d give her life to save him.

The only problem is Logan. Unable to get word to him of the danger Saleem is in, Kai returns to Drakys to enlist his help. Time is short and Logan must decide between running his kingdom and saving the life of his best friend.

The tension mounts in this 7th book in the SkinWalker series, as friends place their lives on the line, and lovers risk heartbreak, all hoping that the risks will all be worth it in the end.

CLICK HERE TO PREORDER

 

Haven’t started the series?

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Want to check out the DARKWORLD UNIVERSE Timeline?

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Scorched Fury (A SkinWalker Novel #5) is LIVE!

 

Purchase on Amazon: http://amzn.to/21Okome

Add it on Goodreads

In the 5th book in the SkinWalker series, Panther shifter Kailin Odel is bombarded with problems.

The Great Ash Trees – supernatural guardian trees of the DarkWorld – are dying, and Kai enlists the help of MetalSinger & Fae Queen Tara to find those who threaten the stability of all the realms.

Then, Logan – still in his cryo-induced coma – makes a request of Kai that she cannot refuse. “Save her.” Whether Logan lives or dies, Kai is determined to fulfil her promise to find the girl from Logan’s memories and help him find peace.

What Kai doesn’t expect is to find her in a world on the brink of extinction, a world Kai didn’t even know existed. But there is more at stake than a missing girl. Can she keep her promises or will it be an impossible ask?

Filled with grief, and blossoming passion, redemption, and growing hope, Scorched Fury reveals secrets long buried and brings together a band of friends who are destined to one day save the DarkWorld.

Haven’t started the Skin Walker Series yet?  The first one is FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

 Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Rmy4Cw

Abandoned by her mother and raised by her aloof Alpha father, panther shifter Kailin Odel has finally found a way to feel like she makes a difference. Discovering her unique power to track Wraith’s, Kailin moonlights as a Hunter – ridding the streets of Chicago of these soul-sucking demons. Her human friends have no idea the supernatural worlds exists alongside theirs. No idea shifter and demons walk in the shadows. And Kai prefers to keep it that way.

Until she discovers the body of a murdered shifter, and is quickly embroiled in a world of supernatural drug-dealing and renegade shifters who leave a trail of blood and mayhem wherever they go.

When Logan Westin, paranormal investigator and super-hot human, begins investigating the murder Kai refuses to allow her feelings to control her. Humans are off-limits, no matter how sizzlingly sexy they are. But can Kai keep him at bay? And does she even want to?

In her quest to find the killer Kai inadvertently puts her friends’ life in danger and brings her to the attention of the sadistic shifter killer. Her comfortable life is gone, her friend murdered, and shifters are disappearing around her. To survive and to save her friends, Kai must allow herself to trust Logan, to give her scarred heart to someone again.

2014 In Retrospect

It’s December and Christmas is around the corner (categorically my most favourite time of the year). As it happens it’s also time to reflect on 2014 and decide if 2014 kicked my butt or was it the other way around?

In terms of health I’d say 2014 won hands down. There were far too many says spent on the wrong side of the bedcovers, but I feel I more than made up for it on the my good days.

In terms of books published here is a quick list of 2014’s releases:
Jan – Lost Soul (SkinWalker #2)
Mar – Retribution (Angels #1)
May – Blood Magic (SoulTracker #1)
July – Pyros (SkinWalker 0.5)
Aug – Blood & Gold (Kali #2)
Sep – Requiem (Angels #2)
Oct – Last Chance (SkinWalker #3)
Dec – Dead Wrath (Valkyrie #4)
Dec – Beautiful Collision (Desperation #1)
Dec – Sugar & Spice Anthology

That’s 9 books and one anthology published in 2014, so I’d guess I beat 2014 😉

Needless to say I am a little in awe. I spent so much of the year head down, nose to the grindstone I guess I didn’t stop much to realise I was meeting and exceeding my goals. I have to admit there were many moments that I spent bemoaning the fact that I wasn’t writing fast enough or releasing fast enough, but I promise to do better in 2015.

What’s in store for 2015, you ask? This is what I have on the cards, not in order of release, and not set in stone either:

Thriller/Horror Standalones – ongoing line
Dark Shadows
Sight

Valkyrie Series
#5 Dead Silence – Series Complete

Hand of Kali Series
#3 Time & Fate – Series Complete

Desperation – NA Contemp
#2 Beautiful Conviction – Series Complete

Angels of the Irin – Extended series (9 books)
#3 Resonance
#4 Revelation

SoulTracker Series – extended series (9 books)
#2 Dark Sight
#3 Demon Kin
#4 Soul Tracker

SkinWalker Series – extended series (6 books)
#4 Blood Promise
#5 Fire Mage

Looks like a lot, right? To be honest they may not all make it to publication in 2015 but I will certainly try.

Any questions about the upcoming books or the current series please leave them in the comments 🙂

Happy Holidays!

Chapter One – Last Chance SkinWalker #3

Okay so- I’ve been emailed/messaged/Pm’d numerous time regarding sample chapters of Last Chance and as always – I hear ya!

So here is Chapter One and I just may put chapter Two up next week. Depends … ya know … if you want it that is 🙂

Oh and one commenter will receive an ARC of Last Chance, so don’t forget to leave a comment 😉

 

LAST CHANCE: DarkWorld:SkinWalker #3

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Releases end October 2014

Chapter One

 

A Walker funeral isn’t that different from the funerals of any other species. Flowers, coffins, mourners. Tears, grief. Regret.

The subtle difference lies in the species itself, and maybe in particular religious preference. Most Walkers regard the goddess Ailuros, cat god of the Greek pantheon, as their deity of choice. Worship isn’t in any way similar to most other EarthWorld religions.

Ailuros just is.

She is a constant, like the air in your lungs or the rain falling from a moody sky. The goddess is nature personified. She gives no gifts, answers no bargains. She is merely the god of all things.

Ailuros has no temples, not in the modern world. Not after the tsunami that was the annihilation of ‘witches’. Call a Walker or a Mage a witch and it was a laughably simple feat to eradicate entire clans. Places of worship were and always will be an open invitation to the religious zealots.

Now, the temple must exist inside your soul. Or else you were truly lost.

I often wonder how different life would be if humans knew we existed. What would they think if their son or daughter brought home a werewolf or a Fae for dinner? Cross-species reproduction? I shook my head, the movement jerky and short as I swallowed a bitter laugh. I walked, past faces some familiar, many not, to the front row of white aluminum foldout chairs. My father’s lawn, and the weather had cooperated in my sisters honor. The ground was firm, the grass a bright, cheery green. The sun streamed down, not so warm that we’d have to shed our coats, but with enough head that an afternoon outside was a pleasant experience.

Seems Mother Nature had remembered to pull out all the stops for Greer’s farewell.

I’d already said my goodbye to my sister. I sighed, my thoughts taking back a few weeks. We’d had our last conversation in a way I’d never expected. How many people get to talk to the dead?

I recalled Greer’s last words.

“So many times I pushed you away and yet you still came to help me. I didn’t deserve you. I don’t deserve you… Thank you, Kai.”

Words I never expected to hear, not from a sister who had always remained just that bit out of reach, just that bit colder than necessary.

I recalled the expression on her face, the sincerity in her eyes, and even the love as she spoke. So unexpected. Those words. Tears blurred my vision as I sat blindly on the nearest seat. I wished we’d had more time, I wished we’d been able to be close. But fate didn’t want it that way. I sighed and felt the lead weight in my stomach settle deeper into place.

I should be happy that Greer and I had made our peace but the harsher, more awful truth hung over me a dark, accusing cloud threatening to loose a storm of emotions. I’d failed my mother. I’d failed to save her daughter. What mother could forgive me? I didn’t deserve forgiving. I’d failed her.

Failed them both.

Murmuring from the back of the seated crowd drew my thoughts away from the cesspit of my self-pity. I shifted in my seat and glanced behind me. My father Corin, brother Iain and four other men I didn’t recognize, walked steadily along the center aisle bearing the weight of Greer’s coffin between them.

Made of molded concrete, shaped to fit the curves of Greer’s figure, the coffin was finished with exquisitely fine detail. The sculptor had paid close attention to Greer’s aquiline features, replicating them so closely that I would have sworn that Greer herself lay there. The rest of her body was sculpted wearing a peplos, an ancient toga-like garment draped elegantly around her body in the style of the Greek goddesses. Within the carved casket, Greer was dressed in a similar fashion.

Her body had been gently bathed, perfumed oils rubbed into her skin. Her long ash-blond hair, was washed, brushed and draped over her shoulders and allowed to fall off her body at the waist. Her hands had been positioned at the center of her chest, her fingers entwined around the feet of a stone statue of Ailuros, The statue stood straight up, its feminine curves enhanced by the fall of the fabric of her simple peplos. With the head of a panther the statue hearkened back to the days before Ailuros had evolved into the external manifestation of a cat, the days when the goddess bore the head of a lioness. Today, each walker tribe saw Ailuros with a head that signified their own species.

Only the cats, of course. Wolf walkers bowed to the feet of Anubis.

With a start I recognized Byron Teague, the local wolf alpha, and Justin Lake, alpha of the cougars behind my brother and father. Again, I was reminded that attendance at the funeral would be more a show of support of those grieving her death rather than an actual payment of respect to Greer herself. The lynx and jaguar alphas brought up the rear of the pallbearers. I turned and faced the stone bier at the front; a simple table constructed from white marble, and surrounded with vases of white roses.

From somewhere around me a lone violin sang sweet sad notes. A song I didn’t recognize but which brought tears to my eyes anyway. I swallowed the lump in my throat and blinked away the moisture. I’d just regained my composure when a tap on my shoulder pulled my attending from the pallbearers who were setting the casket onto the bier. Behind me sat Lily, Logan, Saleem and Tara. Logan’s hand felt warm and comforting on my shoulder and I held tightly onto it. I drew strength just from the touch of the man.

Tara leaned forward, her dark hair glinting in the sun. “Mother couldn’t make it but she does send her apologies and her condolences,” she whispered in my ear before giving me a small encouraging smile.

I nodded. “Thanks,” was all I could think to say. I was overwhelmed by their support. Even more so when I caught a glimpse of Storm and Chief Murdoch sitting in the back row. Proof that I managed to gather my own little band of friends over the last few years. The one person I didn’t see was Clancy. Clancy McBride, my best friend, my supervisor at the rehab center, taken from me by the same Walker who, in the end, had killed my sister too.

The chair beside me squawked and I twisted around as Grams sat down. I took her hands and she squeezed them back. We were both dressed in white, me in a skirt suit, and Grams in a pants and matching jacket. Walkers shunned the nothingness of black. We saw death as another step in out journey, not a marking of the end, the beginning of nothing.

Gram’s and I had long supported each other in our grief, and I then guilt clawed at me, ripping open old wounds. When my uncle Niko had died we’d had no body to bury. They’d had a small memorial service but with everything that had happened, and everything Niko had done I couldn’t bring myself to attend. Grams and everyone else had understood. I’d been weak from the Wraith-sword poison, grieving for Clancy, terrified for Mom and Anjelo and Greer, all innocents sucked into Niko’s crazy schemes.

I tried to banish those thoughts, bring my attention back onto the ceremony. With the casket in place, the pallbearers dispersed and my father and brother came to sit beside us.

The light glinted off the carved face of the coffin as a woman glided slowly toward a lectern. The white podium stood beside the bier, covered in white fabric and decorated with a swag of white roses and baby’s breath. Etina was our equivalent to a pastor or a priest. The priestesses of  Ailuros presided over deaths and births and marriages within the walker communities. Etina, her red hair held away from her face by a band of matching braids, came to a graceful stop behind the flowers and to to smile at the gathering.

I listened with half an ear as she spoke a little about Greer, an extolling of virtues that steered clear from her leaving home without so much as a goodbye, from her involvement with Pariah walkers Niko and Brand, and from any references to how she finally met her end. I swallowed a sob. Everywhere I looked I saw the image of my mother’s face, superimposed on everyone, saw the look of disappointment in her eyes everywhere I turned. A look I would need to face soon. My heart thudded as Etina motioned for my father to come forward to speak.

I didn’t hear his words, my mind still on my mother and the promises I’d broken. Fingers slipped in against mine and I looked at Iain as he held my hand, squeezing it in silent comfort. I’d refused to speak, not wanting to be a hypocrite. As sisters, we’d never been close. No point in pretending now.

Soon my father returned to his seat, and Etina resumed her duties. Movement around me brought me back to the present as the small gathering began to rise. The service was over and the coffin would be transferred to a special cart, whose dark gleaming wheels were almost as tall as I was. The cart would draw the coffin and the mourners along the edge of the town and deep into the mountains.

All walkers have a special place to bury their dead. Living in the world of humans the only safety we had against prying eyes is the ownership of private land. As such every Walker town would have a special burial ground. Whether they be within mountains or beneath the ground they were all lead lined to hide the contents and the entrances were all so well hidden you’d only know of its existence if you’d been shown it. And as a rule no human was ever shown the entrance to our Mausoleums.

And now, for the first time, I wondered how that rule applied to Mom.

When the gathering moved to the roadside, only immediate family, elders and the priestess completed the procession. The cart rolled back and forth on spindly wheels, then began to move, drawn by my father and brother. I followed, giving Logan and my friends a weak wave.

“We’ll wait for you at the house,” Lily whispered as my heels scraped the hard packed soil of the path.

The procession moved slowly- far too slowly for my liking. To be honest I just wanted it over and done with so I could get back to my normal life. Grams moved silently beside me sending waves of Jasmine in my direction. When she glanced at me, she threw me a soft smile, her blue eyes darker than the clear azure sky above us. But behind that comforting smile I could see a hint of resignation with a touch of determination added in for good measure. I sighed and trudges alone. If Grams could see it through, then I bloody well could too.

We walked together, following the rugged road deep into the forest of birch and ash whose branches rose high above us, but blessed us with ragged patches of golden light every few meters. I had to admit, no matter how much I wasn’t enjoying the walk, the trail through the forest was utterly beautiful. The very nature of it made my panther purr inside me. I pushed her back down and walked on until eventually we moved off the dirt track and into a clearing that seemed to appear out of the forest like magic. We’d reached the base of the mountain at last. My feet thanked them. Someone please remind me why in Ailuros’ name did I think heels were a good idea?

Someone up ahead would have pressed his hand against the plate hidden behind a fall of creeping ivy, because suddenly stone ground and scraped, and a large rock shifted aside to reveal the entrance to the burial cave. The threshold was wide enough to accommodate the wheeled carriage, allowing it to pass through comfortably. We followed it inside, and still none spoke. The last of the group stepped farther into the cool interior and the door grunted and groaned shut.

For the briefest moment we were plunged into a solid darkness so thick it felt like I was breathing shadows into my lungs. Seconds later, lights began to pop and flicker. Small electric lanterns, strung high up on the stone walls, lit the whole entrance cave up in its stark light.

The Tukats burial grounds was made up of a warren of caves leading off a long central corridor, and organized according to age of family. Each individual room backed onto solid stone, allowing the family to dig deeper into the mountain to expand their space should they expand their families. Many of the older family’s had caves within caves allocated to them. It all tended to get a little complicated so I’d only ever concentrated on the Odel tomb. The carriage wheels turned as it traveled to the furthest end of the passage, the thin wheels rolling along the stone floor. As the solemn procession moved into the shadowed depths, I followed, my heart thudding against my ribs.

Ours was the very last of the caves, as befitting of the oldest family in Tukats. The men prepared to remove the coffin from the carriage and the priestess fussed around them, wanting to ensure they didn’t damage the fragile carvings. She needn’t have bothered. The men, two others including my father and brother, were accustomed enough to funeral preparations as to take the required care with the coffin. Etina was just a fusser.

They slid the coffin off the wooden base of the carriage, then lifted it by the carved metal handles. The pallbearers hefted their burden through the entrance to the Odel burial chamber, finding the empty spot beside my uncle Niko’s coffin. Despite the deeds of his troubled lifetime they had accorded him the position in death that had always been allocated to him. He lay beside his father, my grandfather, late husband to Grams who stood silently beside me. Everyone within the community had access to the burial caves, many coming and going as they pleased, but I knew Grams hardly ever visited. I’d never understood her reluctance until now.

The walls exuded a deep cold that did nothing to counter the icy fingers of grief. Although I was not mired deeply within the grip of mourning for Greer I could understand the need to have someone make you feel better. And this cold, underground mausoleum certainly did nothing to help a me feel better. If anything it made me feel a little too closer to death than I old have liked. I moved toward Grams, happy to feel the warmth of her arm as she drew me closer.

In that moment I missed Mom so badly that I felt the stab of longing deep in my gut. It hurt and hot tears filmed my eyes. I blinked them away and just in time as Iain and my father joined Grams and me. The rest of the townspeople who’d accompanied us to the burial grounds moved to position themselves behind us. Etina walked silently to the head of the coffin, a censer swinging from her hand, her skirts rustling. Ribbons of white smoke streaming from the gleaming brass container, curling and spiraling upward until they dissipated above our heads.

The scent of incense softened the icy air, and I felt the tight fist in my gut release its hold on me.

Etina spoke about the eternal quality of the soul and how the ones we lose are never truly gone. I almost believed her.

I recalled the way Greer had retreated into the light, how it had felt so right, as if she was returning home, Or was it perhaps the expression on my sister’s face. One I’d never seen before.

Peace.

***

Disclaimer: Please remember this excerpt is unedited 🙂

Last Chance is currently available to pre-Order here : Amazon

More retailers will be added as the book goes live. To be in the know, click here Tell me when Last Chance releases!

 

So tell me in the comments if you want Chapter Two (you could win an ARC of Last Chance) and listen to what Dean says :

 

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Peace Peeps!