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Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Myths & Magic: A Science Fiction and Fantasy Collection

From dystopian thrillers to steampunk romance, from gothic fantasies to paranormal adventures, come journey with unlikely heroes, valiant shifters, rogue vampires, and even a sensual brujo. Dabble in scientific espionage, thwart scheming sorcerers, and challenge hordes of vengeful demons. And maybe fall in love...

Description:

Release Date: August 22nd, 2017

MYTHS & MAGIC sends you on a wild ride across universes where a safe return cannot be guaranteed.

Abolished magic returns to Earth. Telekinetic sorcerers, witches, and fairies discover their powers. Humans become cyborgs. Dragons prowl the depths of Iceland's volcanoes.

All this and more is packed inside one boxed set overflowing with stories from today's hottest USA Today and International Bestselling authors!

From dystopian thrillers to steampunk romance, from gothic fantasies to paranormal adventures, come journey with unlikely heroes, valiant shifters, rogue vampires, and even a sensual brujo. Dabble in scientific espionage, thwart scheming sorcerers, and challenge hordes of vengeful demons. And maybe fall in love...

If you're ready for 21 exclusive full-length novels and novellas, including some BRAND NEW material, in a boxed set where vampires, shifters, ghosts, demons, and even Djinn haunt the pages, then fall into MYTHS & MAGIC, a collection of science fiction, fantasy, and a dash of paranormal romance that will take you to the edge of your imagination.

Including stories from...

USA Today bestselling author Kerry Adrienne 
Award-Winning author Bec McMaster 
Award Winning author Felicia Beasley
USA Today bestselling author L.B. Gilbert 
USA Today bestselling author Jade Kerrion 
Anne Renwick 
Lisa Lace 
Izzy Shows
USA Today bestselling author M. H. Soars
Melle Amade and Michael Trozzo 
USA Today bestselling author Lily Thorn 
Ilana Waters 
Award-Winning author Erin Richards 
R. E. Vance 
Cheri Schmidt and Tristan Hunt 
CC Dragon 
Award-Winning author Bradon Nave 
D.A. Roach
Award-Winning author Katalina Leon
Award-Winning author Boone Brux 
Eric Padilla
EXCERPT





Forbidden Thirteen
Erin Richards

Back Cover Copy:

The number thirteen follows Aria Elle Walker like a bulldog. Lucky or unlucky, it triggers her telekinesis in freaky ways. In an era of banned magic, it could get her jailed…or worse.

One Friday the 13th, Aria’s telekinesis goes wild and she accidentally kills a bounty hunter in her home. Before her freakout begins, in walks Ronan Riley, another “thirteen” telekinetic, and his doppelgänger—a dying Forbidden fairy. Hells bells, everyone knows fairies and the Forbidden are extinct!

After claiming she’s the gateway “key” to releasing ancient magic into the world, the doppelgängers whisk Aria away from the goons Ronan’s father hired to snag her. Dodging bounty hunters and screwy magic, the trio race to fix the damaged Rift before tainted magic kills the doppelgängers…or opens the floodgates to abolished magic. But Aria never expected their desperate alliance to generate a force of a different kind...an uncanny bond and undeniable desire for both doppelgängers.

Destroying Ronan’s father, the mastermind behind the mayhem, is just icing on Aria’s chaos cake. If her luck cooperates and doesn’t kill her first, that is. And will unluck add Ronan to the body count after he betrays Aria?


CHAPTER 1

It figures my natural bad luck and a blind date on Friday the 13th dumped me in the emergency room. I should’ve shied away from the creepy combination of cursed luck and locked myself in a closet. Lucky for me, I was okay. Unlucky for my date, Michael, he’d suffered an allergic reaction after eating Mexican cornbread. Talk about bonehead move. I mean, hello, he has a corn allergy. What part of Mexican cornbread had he missed in that little tip? To top that off, the inept artist had left his epinephrine shot at home. Zoe, my soon-to-be ex-best-friend, swore her cousin was available and smart. No wonder he was single. No sense in pleading the fifth on smart. Just another craptastic date on a merry-go-round of losers.
A guilty sigh pushed out of me as I stepped onto the elevator. I punched the fourteen button and the doors whooshed shut. The fact that Michael had ordered dinner number thirteen and the thirteen sombreros hanging from the ceiling had everything to do with him landing in the hospital. My stomach became a tight fist of unease.
Too many thirteens together equaled crapstorm in my life. Cursed at birth, I’d entered the world on Friday, January thirteen, at one thirteen in the afternoon. Or in military terms, thirteen thirteen. The bad luck number affected everything around me. I controlled some of it if I caught it in time, and fate took a spin on the rest.
Had Michael become an unwitting victim in my jinxed life or what? I certainly hadn’t known he had a corn allergy until after his face nearly exploded. Honestly, I barely paid attention to what he was ordering while he ogled my chest and babbled on about how he’d love to paint me in the nude for an art class project. As if. Knowing it was Friday the 13th, I should’ve paid more attention once I’d counted the sombreros due to my insane need to count everything to avoid the number thirteen. Or my not-so-insane need to use my telekinesis to thwart the inevitable bad luck. Or I could’ve persuaded him to order dish number seven, but he was so freaking obnoxious, he’d left my brain practicing its freedom to terminate the date.
I sucked in my bottom lip. It was just too risky for others to be near me. I mistrusted my ability to control the bad luck side of my telekinesis, and I didn’t know where my so-called freaky gift stemmed from. I wasn’t sure if I had been born with telekinesis or if it’d developed over time. My abilities hadn’t shown up until I’d turned seven years old.
Thank my lucky stars I’d never gotten caught. I mean, seriously, if the government honed in on my abilities, they’d lock me up like Hannibal Lecter, pink mask and all. For the most part, practicing any kind of extra-sensory perception and magic, whether innate or externally created, was illegal. People were scared of ESP abilities and magic, a deeply rooted fear from over three hundred years ago, when Earth was overrun with sorcerers and fairies who’d done the nasty and created a race of powerful fairy-sorcerers. Eventually, the governments eradicated them all and enacted permanent worldwide laws and heavy sanctions on magical use after the Abolishment. Yet, they never defined “extrasensory perception” as magic. That spooked me, so I lived way under the radar.
The elevator stopped on my floor, and I slipped between the doors before they opened all the way. I slid my card key into the security slot and pressed my thumb to the bio-reader. Automatic entry lights flickered on, lighting my way inside the dark condo on top of the Stargazer Casino, San Jose’s newest residential-entertainment complex. The top floor of the residential tower was really the thirteenth floor, but marked fourteen. Like people can’t count.
I kicked my pink pumps off and dumped my jacket on the antique chair in the foyer. My purse clunked on the marble console, the strap leaving tracks in a film of dust. I jiggled the potpourri bowl until a wimpy bouquet of cloves and cinnamon drifted to my nose. Housework hadn’t risen to the top of my To-Do list yet.
“Here, kitty, kitty, kitty.” I yanked my phone from my front pants pocket and hopped the two steps down to the living room. The floor-to-ceiling windows overlooked the glittery amber dots of downtown’s lights. Winds had swept away the clouds, and a soothing star-blazing night greeted me, a far cry from the doom and gloom of my date.
“Cody, Cleo.” My two Himalayans always skittered away from the havoc they wreaked the second they heard my voice. “Where are you?”
Creepy crawlies teased the nape of my neck. I slanted a glance down the two empty hallways. My right pinkie twitched. Oh, hell. If the crawlies advanced to a pinkie twitch, it was bad. Alarm dipped in and squeezed my heart.
Slipping my hand inside the small drawer of the end table, I gripped my stun gun. I tapped in casino security on my cell phone without punching the send button. The wall clock tick-tocking from the dining room eclipsed the sound of my uneven breathing in the quiet-as-a-church space. Not even a mouse stirred.
“Where are you ding-a-ling cats?” My voice trilled unnaturally. “You better not be leaving stinky presents in my new ficus.”
Three halls broke off from the living room. The wide hall led to the foyer, and two narrower halls led left to the kitchen and right to the bedrooms. I tiptoed down the right hallway. The recessed lights automatically winked on. At the first door—the hall bathroom—a whiff of cheap Old Spice cologne assaulted me, reminding me of the casino blackjack dealer who marinated in it. My heart thudded in my ears, and I about hightailed it toward the front door. Gossamer threads of something foreign fluttered in my head. As a telekinetic, I sensed ESP, and I oddly absorbed the intangible energy of other beings through my aura, but never to the point where it invaded my mind.




A Trace of Copper (An Elemental Web Tale)
Anne Renwick

Back Cover Copy:

New recruit to the Queen’s agents, Dr. Piyali Mukherji is given a simple first assignment. Travel to the small Welsh village of Aberwyn and solve the mystery of a young woman’s blue skin lesion. A challenging task, for the alarming infection is unlike anything she’s seen before—and it’s spreading.

Evan Tredegar, the town’s pharmacist and the only man to ever capture her heart, knows more than he’s telling. Despite his efforts to push her away, her touch reawakens old desires. As more villagers fall victim to the strange disease, he’ll have no choice but to reveal his secrets, even if it means sacrificing his freedom.

Together they must move past broken promises, capture a rogue frog, and stop the infection before it spreads out of control.


CHAPTER ONE

Aberwyn, Wales
Spring, 1885

“It bit me,” the young woman informed Piyali, hiking her skirts and rolling down her woolen hose. “Right through my stocking.” Miss Price, the shopkeeper’s daughter, plopped down on a chair and propped her foot upon a stool, pointing. “And now it’s blue.”
Dr. Piyali Mukherji leaned closer. As insane as Miss Price’s words sounded, they rang true. Her ankle was indeed blue.
Well, part of it. There was a decided lesion approximately two inches in diameter above her fibular protuberance. Piyali pressed two fingers against the blemish. She would describe it as an infection. Except it didn’t appear inflamed, and it wasn’t hot to the touch.
And it was blue.
Unheard of. But that was why she’d accepted the Crown’s commission, taken on the added duties of a Queen’s agent. The Duke of Avesbury, the gentleman at the head of this small, select group, had offered her a chance to be on the forefront of investigations into strange and unusual medical conditions. This certainly fit the bill.
“A frog bit you.” Piyali’s eyebrows rose, hoping she’d heard wrong. “A blue frog. With teeth.” Did frogs have teeth? And frogs—at least in Britain—were supposed to be green. Or brown.
Miss Price bit her lip. It didn’t bode well that she needed to consider her story.
Hoping for an explanation, she looked to the man who loomed beside her taking up far too much space in the small parlor. Time had turned familiar into foreign. Mr. Evan Tredegar wore his dark, tousled curls longer, no cravat wound under his collar beneath the rough shadow of his beard, and a small, curved scar cut through the edge of his right eyebrow. Under her study, a muscle twitched at his jawline, and his lips pressed into a thin line. He refused to meet her gaze. Perhaps it was just as well, for his eyes never failed to ignite a slow burn beneath her skin, and she needed to focus.
Still, a certain unease gave her pause. Once she’d been able to read his every mood and would have labeled his expression as concerned. Except the man she’d known wouldn’t withhold information vital to a patient’s treatment. What wasn’t he telling her?
“Miss Price?” Piyali prompted.
The young woman nodded. “Then it hopped away and disappeared into the woods.” Sticking her lower lip out in a pout, she looked up at her mother. “Is this really necessary? Besides, she can’t be a real doctor. How can a woman hold such a degree?” With a sidelong glance at Piyali’s clothing, her voice dropped to a whisper. “An Indian woman.”
A real doctor. Piyali resisted the urge to roll her eyes. If she had a shilling for every time she’d heard that sentiment… Instead, she lifted her chin and replied, “I attended medical school at the Université de Paris where women have been accepted since 1860.”
Never had Paris seemed so far away. Four of the best—and worst—years of her life. She’d earned her place there by being twice as good as the other students, most of them men. Any who had sneered at her inclusion swiftly adjusted their opinion as she collected one award after another, graduating first in her class. As to the prejudice, she no longer felt the need to justify the traditional clothing she wore. If a person could not appreciate the richness and intricacy of Indian designs, then it was their loss.
With an unsteady hand, Mrs. Price patted her daughter on the shoulder and threw Piyali a nervous look. “Lister University’s choice of medical practitioner is alarming. No doubt Dr. Mukherji was all they could spare, but I have every confidence in Mr. Tredegar’s ointment. The blue stain has barely spread since you first applied it. In fact, I think it’s grown smaller.” From the pinched expression on her face, the woman clearly wished Piyali elsewhere. “But your father worries and wanted to consult a board-certified physician in case amputation becomes necessary.”
“Amputation!” Miss Price’s chest began to heave, her eyes growing wide, her fingers digging into the cushion of her chair. “It’s just a spot!”
“A very unusual spot.” Evan finally spoke, though his words were tight and strained. “One that must be examined by someone with more expertise than myself.”
Resentment sparked. His defense of her skills was unwelcome. Both by her and, judging from the deep frown upon her face, Miss Price.
Piyali glanced again at the blue lesion. Could it be no more than a stain of blue ink? Had she interrupted a hoax, a bizarre courtship trick designed to lure a handsome, young pharmacist into this parlor? For upon her arrival, her purported patient had been fluttering eyelashes and casting Evan glances drenched with unfulfilled longing. Or—she narrowed her eyes—did the fault lie squarely on Evan’s shoulders? Did he toy with the young shopkeeper’s daughter, making promises he couldn’t—or wouldn’t—keep?
For once he’d made her promises, ones she’d clung to for four long years abroad. Promises he’d failed to keep when he returned from his overseas voyage some three months ago. Upholding her own vow, she’d sent him a message, then pounced upon the daily post for days—weeks—hoping for word of his imminent arrival, but… nothing. Save a devastating silence.



To Catch Her Death
Boone Brux

Back Cover Copy:

What do you get when you cross a hockey mom with the grim reaper?

Me, Lisa Carron. If being a depressed, frumpy, widowed mother of three wasn't bad enough, I just found out I'm a grim reaper. I know what you're thinking. Wow, that's kind of sexy and full of awesomeness. Hardly. Oh, and my clients? Stupid people. Like I don't get enough of that from the living.

Since Alaska is big and angels of death are few, I've been partnered with reaper extraordinaire, Nate Cramer. He's strong, silent, and way too good looking for my recently widowed state. Oh, and he reaps violent criminals, so that should be interesting.

Forget the danger and the hours of self-analysis it will take for me to find my reaper mojo. My biggest problem? Hiding it all from my overly attentive family and nosy neighbors. Now that's going to take a miracle.


CHAPTER ONE

Being a widow wasn’t as glamorous as it sounded. Unless a person had the money to grieve properly—say in a tropical country, drowning in endless Mai Tais—it really kind of sucked.
I should know. I’ve been a widow for a year now. Twelve long months of clawing my way through each day. My name is Lisa Carron. I’m a thirty-five-year-old, single mother of three, and today is the one-year anniversary of my husband Jeff’s death.
It was also a year ago, today I started letting my appearance slide. Grief will do that to you. Lay you low and drag you into dark places you never thought you’d go. In my case, it was carbs and elastic waistbands.
For the last year, my kids had come first, my depression last. Tasks like dressing and combing my hair took a back seat to more important activities, such as lying on the couch and staring at the ceiling, or scouring the cabinets for spilled chocolate chips. None of my pre-widow clothes fit anymore. Still, I hadn’t been motivated to clear off my treadmill and fire that baby up.
One aspect of widowhood I had enjoyed was wearing black. I know that wasn’t a thing anymore, unless you’re an elderly lady from the old country, but I embraced it nonetheless—maybe a little too enthusiastically. Everything I owned was black.
I’d fallen into a rut and until a few days ago, when my daughter casually suggested I run a comb through my hair as to not scare the neighbor kids, I hadn’t realized how far I’d sunk. That was my Aha moment. It was then I’d realized my kids had weathered the crisis of their father’s death and emerged on the other side in far better shape than I had.
The revelation was bittersweet. I mean, kudos to me for being an awesome mom, but damn. My frizzy ponytail belonged on the backend of a horse, and my nails looked like I’d been buried alive and clawed my way out of the grave. In a word—I was a hot mess. What I needed was a long dip in Lake Lisa.
 Determined to get my act together, I dropped off the spawn of my loins at my parents’ house for the weekend. Once back home, I popped a cork on a bottle of Riesling, sat at the table, and planned two kid-free days. The excitement made me a little giddy—or maybe it was the wine—anyway, for the first time in a year, I sketched out a Saturday that was all about me.
That night I slept like a baby and when morning dawned, I rolled out of bed ready to face the day. A slight ache beat against the inside of my skull, but it was nothing a few aspirins hadn’t cured. Plus, the Riesling had totally been worth it.
I showered and headed to the Holiday gas station near my friend Vella’s hair salon. Getting my hair done was number two on my list. Buying my bucket of soda number one. The sugary nectar was the only legal substance I knew that gave me the sustained energy I needed to get through my day of errands—and sadly, the main reason I’d become a little fluffy.
Before I could shut off Omar, my ancient minivan, The Hokie Pokie, my mom’s special ringtone, erupted in my purse. A million terrible scenarios sped through my mind. Fine, maybe I wasn’t completely comfortable being away from my kids.
I flipped off the ignition and scrambled to find my phone. “Are the kids okay?”
“They’re fine, sweetheart.” Mom’s placating voice soothed my panic back to a normal level. A small plane from the nearby airport buzzed over the car. “Where are you? I hear traffic. Are you running errands?”
Translation, did you get your big butt out of bed?
“Yes, I’m at the Holiday station near Merrill Field. I’m getting gas,” I lied, not needing the lecture on the hundred ways soda could kill me. “Did you need something?”
“It’s sixteen degrees out.” Temperature update brought to you by my mother, the neighborhood weather monitor. “Are you wearing your winter coat?”
“No, it’s not that cold.” Refusing to wear my parka until it hit zero had been something I’d done since I was a teenager—a personal affirmation that I was an Alaskan woman. Plus, it irritated the hell out of Mom, so I’d kept up the tradition. Childish, I know, but some days I just needed that win.
“You and that stupid habit. One day you’re going to catch your death.” Her heavy sigh hissed through the receiver. “Anyway, what do you have planned for today?”
“I’m on my way to Vella’s to get my hair cut.” Vella was my best friend and supreme ruler of all hairstylists in the universe. “Possibly my nails.”
“Oh good, you were starting to look like a mangy Cocker Spaniel. Have her hit those roots with a little color too. You’ll feel better.”
Translation, she’d feel better.
Having grown up with Mom’s backhanded comments; I now ignored them—for the most part. I was secure in my frumpiness, and looked passably acceptable to be seen in public, though Bronte, my daughter, would argue that point.
“Mom, are you sure you’re okay keeping the kids this weekend? I can get them after my hair appointment.”
“Nonsense. We’re making ghost sugar cookies for Halloween, and your father is pulling out his gun collection later.”
In the background, I heard a collective cheer from my twin sons. “Are you nuts? Do not let the boys anywhere near those weapons.”
“They’re just show pieces, honey. The boys will be fine.”
Show pieces my ass.
“Uh huh.” My father was a retired cop and had an unhealthy obsession with firearms. But arguing with my mother was pointless. It was a sad state of affairs when a fifteen year old was the most responsible person in residence. “Could you put Bronte on the phone?”
Several seconds of silence passed until my daughter came on the line. “Yo.”
“Hey, do me a favor and make sure the boys don’t touch Grandpa’s guns.”
She gave me her perfected annoyed teenager grunt. “How? They don’t listen to me.”
“You’re clever. Figure something out.” Bronte was more devious than both her brothers combined. It was a trait I stopped fighting and now used to my benefit. “If the boys come home unharmed, I’ll buy you those hockey skates you want.” Even though they weren’t top of the line the skates would still set me back. But my kids’ safety was worth it. “We’ll get them after I pick you up Sunday.”
Right after you pick us up?”
“I promise.” I couldn’t waffle or she’d think I was bluffing. “Straight from grandma’s house to the store.”
She was silent for a few seconds, but I had her. She’d been asking for new hockey skates since last season. “I’ll see what I can do.”
“Thank you, sweetie. Tell Grandma I’ll call her later. And hey…Mommy loves you.”
Bronte made a gagging sound and ended the call. I smiled, knowing nobody would be going near my father’s gun collection.



Kin Selection (A Shifter’s Claim Novella)
L.B. Gilbert

Back Cover Copy:

Animal activist Deena Hammond had no idea the wolf cub she just rescued is a shifter—not until the Werewolf sent to recover him kidnaps her.

Saving a wolf cub from an animal testing facility changes everything for Deena Hammond, a feisty and dedicated animal activist. Determined to protect the innocent animal, Deena's shocked when the cub shifts into a small toddler right before her eyes.

Bound by honor to keep their existence a secret, Yogi, a wolf shifter, kidnaps Deena and brings her back to the cub's family. Knowing a hellion with curves likes hers is the ultimate temptation for the other males in his pack, Yogi stays close to Deena, fighting to keep his desire for her under control. But she just might ignite the animal within him.


CHAPTER ONE

“Denise, if you don’t get moving right now, we’re going to be arrested!”
Denise Hammond bit her lip and stared at the wolf cub on the other side of the bars. The little thing was crying, its paws pressed to the door of the cage just under her hands.
Reliance Research wasn’t supposed to be doing animal testing on anything bigger than a rat. Between this cub and the chimps now in the van, her team had been right to target this place. But what was she supposed to do now?
Unlike the other cages in the adjoining room, this one had a digital combination lock. Even with her repurposed ATM decoder, it would take more time than she had to get the cage door open.
She spun around, checking the dimly lit lab space for anything that would help her. The facility was a series of converted warehouses, whose big storage rooms had been divided into a bunch of smaller ones. There were no other cages save for the wolf cub’s in the central laboratory. Most of the space was taken up by lab benches and shelves full of chemicals that lined the plain white walls.
Unfortunately, there were no crowbars handy. Not even a misplaced plumber’s wrench.
“I’m serious.” In Denise’s Bluetooth earpiece, Karen’s voice was getting louder. “We’ve got to get out of here! The guards will be passing on their rounds any minute. Denise, are you there?”
“Yes, I’m here. Lower your voice,” she whispered.
“Why aren’t you out yet? The rest of us are in the van. We’ve got the chimps. We’re done, but you’re way behind schedule. Any second and the guard will check the lab.”
Shit. “I can’t go yet,” she whispered. “There’s another animal here. A wolf cub.”
Another voice cut in. “Damn it, Denise. You can’t save them all. The chimps were our priority. Get your fat ass out here,” Max hissed.
A cutting response rose to her lips, but she heard footsteps in the distance. She gripped the bars weakly, her hands starting to sweat in her gloves. Wincing, she stared down at the little wolf. Max was right. She was out of time.
“I’m sorry,” she whispered.
Inside the cage, the wolf whined. Its eyes seemed to plead with her not to leave it behind.
The footsteps were louder now, closer than she expected. Frak. She’d miscalculated. The guard was outside the door. Denise spun, diving for the only cover at hand—a narrow space between a lab bench and a poorly placed equipment shelf. When she squeezed between them, she cursed her plentiful curves as the metal drawer handles dug into her thigh.
Max wasn’t wrong about her ass. However, as her new boyfriend, he was supposed to be less of a jerk about it. But Max had never received the how-to-be-a-supportive-partner memo.
Maybe getting involved with one of her teammates hadn’t been the brightest idea. Whatever. She would deal with that later—possibly after she got out of jail.
The guard was inside the room now. Denise held her breath, her eyes so wide they hurt. Across the room, the little wolf was still looking at her as the security guard stepped closer. Denise could see a bit of the man’s pant leg as he moved to the occupied cage. Praying the little cub wouldn’t start yipping or do anything that would give her away, she put a finger to her lips, silently shushing it.
Please don’t bark.
The little wolf cocked its head, then moved it up and down. Denise blinked. Had the animal nodded at her? Impulsively, she gave it a thumbs-up.
What the hell am I doing? The cub couldn’t understand her. She had to focus and figure a way to get out of here, or everything she’d worked for would be over.
Except… the cub nodded again. Or at least it appeared to before it sat on the floor of the cage, resting its head on its paws.
Okay, the stress of being caught was making her crack up. Crap. The guard had moved to the left. All she saw was the back of his head. If he turned around now, he’d see her crammed between the shelves.
Moisture pricked and began to trickle between the valley of her breasts. Would the guard hear if a drop of sweat hit the tiled floor?
“Hey, Jackson, did the lab coats order the chimps moved?”
There was the crackle of a radio. “I don’t know. Why?”
“Well, obviously cause they’re not there.”
There was silence for a minute before the voice on the on the radio came back. “They don’t have anything down in the schedule, but weren’t they due to start testing that new drug soon? They probably forgot to file the paperwork again.”
“Well, we have to call them to make sure,” the guard in front of her said.
More silence, then the voice broke through the static. “I can’t find the number.”
The guard in front of her swore. “Sure you can’t.”
“Just come back and find it for me.”
“Fine. But you’re still making the call. I don’t want to talk to the asshole in charge either.”
“It’s your turn,” the voice on the radio protested.
“The hell it is. I did it last time—when the fire alarm short circuited.”
“Fine, whatever. If Mr. High and Mighty didn’t want to be bothered at home, he should have forced the brass to upgrade the wiring in this place. Hold on, I’m coming back.”
The guard moved out of view, his fading footsteps indicating he was walking away. Denise knew he had left the room when the little wolf stood up, its head swinging between her and the direction of the door. It was almost as if it were trying to tell her the coast was clear.
Denise hurried back to the cage. “Okay, little buddy. I owe you for that one.” Without stopping to think of the likelihood of success, she ran to the other side of the room and grabbed one of the lab carts. She sprinted back to the cage and lifted the whole thing onto the cart with an audible grunt.



ALCHEMY WITH BENEFITS
Katalina Leon

Back Cover Copy:

What happens when a wacky witch collides with a sexy brujo from a taco truck?

Estele “I meant to do well” Esposito is the worst witch in the San Buena enchantment community. When she casts a spell it goes batshit wacky with disastrous results.
Everything changes when a sexy brujo, who drives an enchanted taco truck, shows up with a mysterious warning that he is her new protector. Too bad Estele hates brujos, but when an evil djinn threatens the community, Estele has to put trust issues aside and enter an alliance with a brujo to save the city.

Want the perfect alchemical recipe for hilarious chaos? Mix romance with Estele’s brand of loopy spellcasting, hexed food, a ghostly sea captain with questionable vices, a priceless gem of infinite power, malicious djinn bent on world domination and thousands of innocent people trapped at a county fair—what could go wrong?

Note: This title is number 3 in the Sorcery by the Sea series, but it really should be number 2. The storyline directly follows Fredi and Gus’s story in HOODOO BLUE, Sorcery by the Sea, book 1. Estele’s story can be read alone, but reading her hijinks in Hoodoo Blue, first will make it better.

CHAPTER 1

There were no appointments necessary at the LuLu Beauty Academy by the Sea. A cheerful pink banner advertised “Walk-ins Welcome,” but that didn’t mean casual clients could expect to be pampered. Requests for specific operators would be denied. Most regular customers wouldn’t bother to ask. On entry, patrons were asked to sign waivers. An ominous plaque on the reception desk stated that “all work shall be done by STUDENTS.”
The intrepid ones who used vocational schools as part of their beauty routine knew you got you what you paid for—or more accurately at the LuLu Beauty Academy, you got what you didn’t pay for.
So, on that sunny August morning, the blood-curdling screams of horror echoing from the building weren’t completely unexpected.
Viewed from the outside, the windows of the clinically tidy vocational school writhed with the silhouettes of panicked people desperate to escape. The screams within reached a glass-shattering crescendo, then fell silent as one by one bodies slumped to the floor in heaps.
Oops, time for full disclosure.
The LuLu Beauty Academy by the Sea hid one crucial fact from the unsuspecting public. More than haircuts, mani-pedis, and ombré dye jobs were being offered. At the back of the rambling mission-style compound, one sub-floor down, was San Buena’s preeminent school of sorcery and witchcraft—the Master Mage Magic Academy.
The secret school within a school provided the perfect place to mask the comings and goings of would-be aestheticians, witches, warlocks, and fiends. The false front had been in place for decades and the two schools seldom mixed. For the most part, members of the LuLu Beauty Academy were oblivious to the near proximity to occult danger. Most of the time they had little to worry about. Thanks to caution and strict protocols, Miss Dahlia ran a clean Mage Academy.
Unfortunately for all involved, one incompetent student was enrolled in both schools, San Buena’s most vexatious, sure-to-fail, scatterbrained witch ever born into the West Coast Enchantment Community—Estele “I meant to do well” Esposito.

Ashamed and once again needing assistance, Estele picked up her phone and called her best friend and sister in Wiccandom, Frederica De la Cruz, aka Fredi. The call was answered on the second ring.
Estele stammered, “F-Fredi! I need your help right away. I’ve done it again.”
“What have you done?” Fredi sounded blasé. “Did you cast another wacko love spell that hit a speed bump?”
“No. It’s worse than that. I was trying to infuse a transformation enchantment into a crystal and—”
“Wait a minute.” Fredi became wary. “It’s Thursday morning. Aren’t you in beauty school? If you’re in public, let’s not talk enchantment over the phone. It’s not safe.”
Estele stomped her foot in agitation. Tears welled in her eyes. “Fredi, I screwed up bad! This is an emergency. Can you come by the LuLu Beauty Academy and lend me a hand?” Her voice quivered. “I’ll throw in a deep conditioning hair treatment if you can help me resuscitate the others.”
“What others? Why do they need resuscitation? Jeezus, Estele, what have you done?”
“Miss Esposito!” Miss Dahlia stormed along the hallway, jaw set, gaze hard, arms swinging with determination. The substantial woman was a professor of metaphysics. She presented the perfect image of elderly indignation, a blur of lilac hair and frumpy blouse marching into battle in sensible shoes. “Estele, why, oh why do you insist on practicing magic outside the classroom without the necessary supervision?”
Estele cowered. “Hold on.” She spoke into the phone. “Fredi, are you still there? Gotta go.” She clicked the phone off, feeling nauseous. “Miss Dahlia, I’m so, so sorry. I cast such a teeny-weeny spell I didn’t think anyone would even notice.”
Miss Dahlia shook a finger under Estele’s chin. “What a disaster! A beautician’s Armageddon! Young lady, when one’s hair transforms into writhing serpents and a penetrating Medusa stare of doom shoots from your desk-mate’s eyes, it’s unsettling to say the least. I can’t imagine the horror those poor ladies just went through. Lucky for us, if I should even use the word luck, the last woman just looked in the mirror and gave herself the Medusa-meltdown stare and turned to stone. Everyone is lying on the floor in a state of suspended animation. It’s now safe to enter the room.”
How could it be safe? She’d witnessed the event up close; the disturbing images would haunt her nightmares for years. It was awful to know she’d done this to others. “We’re going inside? Really? Do I belong in there? What if I make things worse without even meaning to?”
Miss Dahlia grabbed Estele’s arm. “You and I are walking in there as a team and we are going to make things right, even if we have to work through the lunch hour. What incantation was used?”
“I’m not sure. Gosh, I’m so shook up it’s hard to think.” She tried to concentrate but nothing came to her. Adding to the mental fog, she was hungry too. This was unacceptable. Why didn’t her brain work like everyone else’s? And when would she learn to take care of herself so she could avoid this sort of thing? “That’s probably why I mixed up my spells in the first place. You know, low blood sugar. During the hair demonstration on instant dreadlocks with texturing cement, I was fiddling around with an incantation to bring crystals to life. What was I saying? Lithe? Lively? Lothario? Lethal? What’s the Latin word for stone?”
Miss Dahlia appeared mortified. She closed her eyes in what appeared to be utter exasperation. “‘Lithos’ is the word you are searching for. Miss Esposito, when are you going to give metaphysical studies the serious attention they demand?”
She winced. Lately, she’d been trying to do better, but this stunt proved her efforts were wasted. “I’m so sorry.”
“Sweetheart.” Miss Dahlia softened her tone. “Historically, the Esposito witches are challenged enough. You don’t need to add to the dubious legacy by misspeaking poorly worded incantations. A witch must live by the rule of three. What we do for or to others will be visited on us threefold. Do you think the ladies upstairs enjoyed being turned into Medusas with live snakes dancing on their heads? No. They did not. You must learn to be careful and logical with your skills. Don’t throw a careless spell out there and hope it’s not just—” She drew her lips tight. “—a flying turd tossed into a blender.”



APPROACHING NIGHT
Ilana Waters

Back Cover Copy:

What do you do when darkness calls your name?

"Almost everyone is convinced I’m mad. But I’m not sure I believe them."

Seventeen-year-old Seluna doesn’t know why she was admitted to an all-female insane asylum called Silver Hill. She doesn’t know exactly how she makes inanimate objects come to life. And she can’t figure out the reason for the sadistic and brutal experiments on girls here—many of whom are never heard from again.

When Seluna sneaks out to the moonlit, forbidden garden behind Silver Hill, she meets a mysterious boy swimming in a pond. She senses there’s a connection between him and what’s happening at the asylum, but he’s not telling what. Then there are the screams from down long halls and the constant absence of light. No doubt they’re all part of the scheme concocted by the merciless head of the facility, Dr. Catron. He’s growing more and more frantic and violent in an attempt to find the person—or thing—he’s looking for.

Yes, there’s a lot Seluna doesn’t know about Silver Hill. About why moonlight, madness, and murder are following her. But she needs to find out fast . . . before she becomes the next victim.


CHAPTER ONE

“Try, Seluna. Just try.”
“I am trying! But it’s like I told you, Laura: nothing’s happening.”
“But sometimes, it does.”
“Well, now is not one of those times.”
I leaned my head against the bottom of the flimsy bed frame. Sitting with my back perpendicular to the center of the mattress, I continued looking at the wooden horse. I didn’t know why I couldn’t animate it. A glint of moonlight shone through the narrow room’s high window onto the horse. As I stared at the toy, I thought I saw it move.
Then a cloud must have passed over the moon, because suddenly, there was very little light in the room. The only other illumination came from the dimmed gas lamps behind both beds, and the tiny window on the door, the one with bars on it. Most of Silver Hill’s windows had bars on them.
“Maybe the horse is defective,” said Rose. She was on Laura’s bed, lying sideways, and leaned over to get a closer look. She brushed curly red hair out of her eyes. It wasn’t truly red; I could see the dark roots peeking out from beneath. “Where’d you get it, anyway?” she asked.
“It’s my little brother’s. He said I could have it to keep me company while . . . while I was away.” Tears welled in Laura’s eyes. “He really believed it would, too. Of course, he’s only three. It was his favorite toy, too.”
“Then I’m sure it’s not defective,” I said firmly. I reached over to where Laura was sitting on the floor, legs crossed, against the other bed. With a reassuring squeeze of her knee, I repeated what I’d told them both before.
“It’s true I can animate objects, and temporarily make dead things come to life. But that doesn’t mean I can always do it. And when I can’t, I’m sure it says more about me than the object itself. So don’t fret over it.”
“I know.” Laura took the horse and moved it up and down with her hand, making it prance on the nightstand between beds. “It’s just . . . that’s so magical, you know? I’m really keen to see more of it.”
I shrugged and adjusted my skirts. I didn’t really think of my ability as magic. It wasn’t even particularly useful, so I rarely thought about it at all. Although I would have liked to use it to make Laura smile more. When she smiled, it was one of the few times her pale hair and skin didn’t make her look like she never saw the sun. Rose’s complexion was darker, almost tawny brown. But there was a sallowness there as well, like she could use a holiday.
“Eh, Laura, you’re fourteen years old,” Rose said. “Isn’t it time you quit playing with toys?”
Laura made a face and stopped moving the horse back and forth. “I’m not playing. I was just . . . demonstrating what Seluna could do with it. Besides, you’re sixteen. Shouldn’t you be able to tell when someone is playing and when they’re not?”
“Hey, have some respect for your elders,” Rose said. “After all, I’m the oldest one here.”
“Ahem.” I coughed.
Rose scrunched up her nose. “Oh, right. I forgot you’re seventeen, Seluna. Well, old lady, astound us with your wisdom and experience. Do more you know what.” She indicated the wooden horse.
“Do more of what? What are you girls doin’?” A low, matronly voice boomed through the door’s tiny window, and two piggish eyes appeared behind the glass. Nurse Cutter.
All of us gave a start, and Laura quickly hid the wooden horse behind her back. One didn’t know if it was strictly forbidden, but then again, precious objects could be confiscated here for any reason. Or for no reason at all.
“Nothing!” called Rose. “Just . . . playing jacks.”
“Jacks.” We saw the tiny eyes squint into even smaller slits in the woman’s doughy face. “Ain’t that a form of gamblin’? Like card playin’?”
Rose and Laura looked at each other with wide, fearful eyes. They had no idea what to say.
“Not the way we’re playing,” I replied smoothly. “We’re playing the, ah . . . the boring way.”
“Well, all right, then,” said Nurse Cutter. “But nothin’ too overstimulatin’. It’s almost time for lights-out.”
“Yes, Nurse Cutter,” we chorused, and heard her footsteps grow fainter down the hall.
“That was a close one.” Rose took a cigarette out of a secret pocket in her bodice and patted a different pocket, looking for a match. Silver Hill allowed patients to wear their own clothing most of the time, but did not permit skirts with pockets.
“Rose!” Laura’s big blue eyes grew even bigger when she saw the cigarette. “You know you can’t smoke that in here!”
“Or anywhere at Silver Hill,” I reminded her.
Rose gave an exasperated sigh and let her head flop back on Laura’s pillow. “I know, I know! But if I don’t do something I’m not supposed to, I’m going to go mad!”
“They say we’re mad,” Laura said softly. She held her brother’s horse in her lap, stroking its head. “That’s why we’re here.” She put the toy on the comforter and continued watching it. Suddenly, we heard the sounds of squeaking gurney wheels and pained groaning. Rose jumped off Laura’s bed and went to the door’s window. She stood on her tiptoes and tried to look out.
“What’s happening?” Laura asked. She and I got up and stood next to Rose, but there was only room at the window for one.
Rose hopped up and down, trying to get a better view. “Ugh, I can’t see anything! Seluna, you look. You’re the only one tall enough.”
Although I had only a few inches on these girls, it was just enough to allow me to peek over the bottom of the window. I squinted. I could typically see better in the dark than others, but it was still difficult to see anything in the shadowy hallway. I could just make out a girl strapped to a gurney, struggling to regain consciousness. The head of the asylum—Dr. Catron—was walking alongside her.
“What’s going on? Who’s out there?” Laura’s voice trembled.
“Hush!” chided Rose. After a brief pause, she asked, “Yeah, Seluna. Who’s there?”
I turned to face them both. “If you two don’t be quiet, we may be the next ones out there!” I hated to be so harsh, but it did shut them up fast. I turned back to the window.



Fateful Vampires: A Romance Begins
Cheri Schmidt and Tristan Hunt

Back Cover Copy:

A mythic romance blossoms. A dark legend discovered. As vampires rise to power in England, love must conquer.

It's a dark time in England's history, as wars are being waged and the plague is sweeping across Europe, the mythic reign of vampires is about to begin.

Lady Sophia, a virtuous young maiden sent to a convent in Northumberland after the death of her mother, has her world turned upside down when she falls in love with a brave young page determined to become a knight under her father’s charge. When the most powerful vampire in the land sets his eye on Sophia for a wife, the young lovers must do the unthinkable to survive.

From the award-winning Fateful Vampire Series comes the much-anticipated prequel...the story that starts it all...Fateful Vampires: A Romance Begins.


CHAPTER 1
SAND CASTLES

Northumberland County, England
Bamborough Castle,
Eastern Shore of the North Sea
The Year of Our Lord, 1340

“You’ll have to run faster than that!” Beon shouted.
Sophia giggled as she pushed herself, trying to speed up, the feel of sand beneath her feet bringing a smile to her face. As did the mirth she could hear in Beon’s voice.
As Sophia ran along the beach, she glanced up at the fortress that was Bamborough Castle, inwardly marveling at how Beon’s presence, his dark brown eyes and easy smile, brightened the dark corners of the gloomy castle she’d lived in all her life.
If only Beon could banish the scowl from Father’s brow as well, she mused, returning her focus to the beach in front of her. Was it really so taxing to be the Baron of Bamborough? Were Father’s duties truly so grim?
Another laugh from Beon let Sophia know how close he was, she squealed and ran harder. If she continued letting moments of distraction slow her down, she would lose the race yet again. Truth be told, she didn’t mind losing to Beon.
Today was that rare occasion when Beon, a young page under her father’s charge, was able to join her for some sport after completing all of his duties to Sir Lyndon, her father’s man-at-arms.
As fast as he was, Beon always won in games of chase. In fact, he won every game they played, but Sophia found she didn’t mind at all. There was very little distraction in Bamborough Castle. There was very little warmth within the cold and dim dwelling.
How could such dark eyes be so warm? The light in Beon’s brown eyes, flecked with shards of amber, somehow made its way inside the stone walls where even sunshine had no hope of entering. But Beon had, bringing something to the cold chambers that even a fire in the hearth hadn’t been able to bring. Sophia had yet to sort what that ‘something’ was exactly, but even his name was comforting as it rolled off her tongue...it had a musical quality, and Sophia loved to sing. Beon was constantly having to correct people with the pronunciation, which Sophia found amusing. “No, no, it’s bee-own,” he would say, “with the stress on the second syllable.”
Beon was older than Sophia, three years or so, and had been living with her family ever since he came to be fostered under her father’s house. Even though it was customary for a boy to leave his home at the age of seven to serve as a page under a knight, Beon had gotten a late start, which made him slightly older than other boys had been. He’d explained that being an only child with his father away at the wars against France, his mother had held him back.
Sophia had met his mother and knew how much she worshiped the lad, showering him with praise and attention. He was quite arrogant as a result. He would tell Sophia himself with his chin jutting to the heavens that there was ‘nothing he could not do, and not do well.’ What was so infuriating to the other pages and squires who lived in the castle was that his claim proved to be true.
Beon was still considered a boy at ten years old. Sophia knew he would not begin to ignore her until he became a squire at fourteen, so until that time, she would savor the much needed amusement he brought to the castle.
Sensing that Beon had lost interest in his pursuit, Sophia slowed and watched as he veered off toward her younger brother, who was quite a bit faster. They careened toward the foamy waves until the nursemaid shouted them back.
“How many times have I told you to stay away from the water!” she said.
Catching her breath, Sophia plopped down on one of the grassy knags that bordered the beach and gazed at the Farne Islands just off the coast. Even from here, she could see it abuzz with several flocks of birds. Sometimes she could even spot a seal or two. But the birds were her favorite. She could watch them for hours. A gull swooped into view and landed several feet away from her.
“Hello again, Oliver,” Sophia said.
The gull squawked in reply.
“I don’t have many crumbs for you today,” she said, as several more birds landed close by. Sophia pulled a folded piece of burlap from her skirts and opened it to reveal a few small chunks of bread. She began to pick at the bread and toss crumbs to the eager creatures.
Suddenly Beon came thundering over a dune and her winged companions scattered. Emitting a laugh, Sophia also leaped up and took flight, thrilled the chase was back on. Panting for breath, she gathered up the hem of her skirt and scurried across the sand. Beon grabbed her waist and wheeled her up and around in a circle, spinning her like a top. She giggled uncontrollably.
“Master Beon,” Nurse shouted, “Put her down this instant! Remember your manners, young man. That is no way to treat a lady, and you’ll do well to behave yourself. The Baron would give you a lashing if he saw you handle his daughter that way!”
 “Yes, mum,” Beon said with a bow after setting her back on her feet.
“That’s enough frolicking for one day. You run along back to Sir Lyndon now, like a good lad.”
“Yes, mum,” Beon answered. He smiled at Sophia just before he lit off toward the castle.
Not only was Sir Lyndon her father’s man-at-arms, but he was also Father’s most trusted knight. Stories of how he’d fought alongside her father in the Scottish Wars for years before she was even born had been told so many times she would never forget them. Even now, her father would rally his troops and ride off with Sir Lyndon to defend the border against the Scots or run to the aid of some other noble house that had come under attack. Once or twice they had even fought against other fiefs, either because they had dishonored her father or because they owed him a debt. Father was always up for a fight, it seemed.
Sir Everard, Beon’s father, had sent him to foster at Bamborough Castle specifically because he would be a page to Sir Lyndon, as had been put down in the contract with Sophia’s father, Lord Gall. Tales of how Sir Lyndon and Sir Everard had come up through the ranks together and how Sir Everard had gained much favor with King Edward III, earning himself a title and lands as a vassal to his majesty, were fresh in Sophia’s mind as she made her way back toward the castle. Their day of running along the shore had come to an end.



HEART OF FIRE
Bec McMaster

Back Cover Copy:

The old eddas speak of dreki—fabled creatures who haunt the depths of Iceland's volcanoes, and steal away fair maidens.

Freyja wants none of such myths. Dreki seducing young ladies? Ha. They probably eat such foolish girls. But when the local dreki steals her last ram—costing her any chance of feeding her ill father through the winter—Freyja intends to confront the fearsome myth. Sentenced to a life of exile from his clan, Rurik is fascinated by the furious woman who comes to claim her ram. She reeks of mysterious magic, and challenges him at every step. He intends to claim the passionate firebrand, but to do so he must take mortal form.

It's the only time the dreki are vulnerable, and with a dragon-hunter arriving on the shores of Iceland, he can barely afford the risk—but lonely Freyja, with her elf-cursed eyes and pragmatic soul, tempts him in ways he's never felt before. Is she the key to reclaiming his heritage? Or will she be his downfall?


CHAPTER ONE

Leaning under the overhang of the cave mouth, Freyja knelt and untied the small lantern from her belt. She dragged her gloves off and cupped her hands around the wick. Come. Dance for me. Her breath stirred the small wick and then a tiny flame sputtered to life, flaring up and almost singeing her hands.
Something shifted in the darkness; a sense of the mountain listening, as if it felt her small magic. Freyja placed a hand on the barren ground. Easy. She soothed it, stroking it with the awareness within her, feeling it tremble beneath her touch.
An alien presence brushed against her mind and Freyja froze, sucking in a sharp breath. The pressure was almost overwhelming, a mountain leaning down upon her. Then suddenly it was gone.
Freyja closed the small glass door on the lantern, and stared into the darkness of the lava tube. “That is right,” she whispered in Norse. “You know I am here.”
The lantern guided her into the heart of the mountain. The air reeked of sulfur and burned cinnamon, smoky spices. A scent that was incredibly appealing. She breathed it in, feeling it sweep through her, warming her from within. Somehow she knew it, though she had never breathed its like before.
The scent drugged her, luring her ever deeper. Ice gleamed in a thin sheen over the entrance floor, melting with each passing step as the air warmed. The walls were smooth, with rough bands at interval heights where lava had flowed, like the tidemark on the caves by the sea.
As she turned a corner, taking careful, stalking steps, something gleamed white and stark at the corner of her vision.
Freyja spun, holding the lantern high. A leering skull stared back at her, the owner slumped forever against the wall, his pitted armor tarnished and rusted. A sword hung clasped in bony fingers. Swallowing hard, Freyja crouched beside it and tugged the skeletal fingers away from the hilt as she exchanged it for the bow.
She could feel that other awareness watching her, listening as if it could hear her.
You won’t frighten me. You won’t.
The tunnel opened into a larger cavern, enormous stalactites stabbing sharp fingers down from the roof, some touching the floors in dripping columns much like melted candlewax. Piles of gold coins glittered in the darkness, heaped at the sides of the cavern as if the press of the enormous wyrm’s body forced them there. Winking gemstones. A dozen rubies at least. For a moment Freyja couldn’t think. She could only stare at the veritable hoard in front of her. Wyrms were said to be voracious for treasure, guarding it with their fierce tempers, but here was coin enough to see her father fed forever. The entire village. Perhaps even all of Iceland.
Her fingers itched to take just enough to buy a dozen ewes and several rams to replace what had been stolen. The gold meant little to her, but the concept of what she could buy with it was incredibly tempting.
She could buy a future for her and her father.
As if sensing her thoughts, a warning rumble smoked its way through the tunnel. Freyja tore her gaze from the glittering piles. The dreki were possessive of their treasures, it was said. To even think of taking but one coin was to bring her own death down upon her.
It was warmer here; sweat trickled down the back of her neck and between her bound breasts. Freyja held the sword in front of her, sweeping the darkness with the lantern. He was here. Somewhere. She could feel the dark energy of his power, dwelling in the shadows like some enormous smoldering volcano.
“So now they send my tithe to me?”
The thought-whisper almost crushed her, and her fingers clenched around the sword hilt as she ground her teeth together. Pressure built behind Freyja’s left eye; a stabbing ache that promised to make her head throb for days. She drew her focus in on herself, creating a shield against the immense presence. The pressure eased.
“I’m not your tithe,” she called back. “The village pays you its tithe! And you have stolen my ram!”
A husky chuckle rumbled in the darkness, like a cat purring. Movement shifted, diamond-hard scales rasping over the polished stone floors. Freyja took a step back, her breath catching as she raked the darkness for signs of the wyrm.
Don’t be afraid. He can’t kill you. We pay the tithe, she told herself. Still the sensation of the dreki watching her made her nerves thrum with anticipation. She held the sword low, sweeping it in front of her.
“Tithe?” the dragon whispered. “Your village has not paid its tithe in three moons. So I will take what is owed. Your ram was… delicious.
Freyja’s lips pressed tightly together. Too late to save Henrik. Something hot and impotent burned at the back of her eyes.
Then she realized what he had said.
The tithe hadn’t been paid.
The dragon was no longer bound by his word not to harm her.










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3 comments:

Richard Brandt said...

Wow this really has something for everyone - well, if you like fantasy fiction and short stories, as I do.

Diane Elizabeth said...

This sounds like an amazing collection. I'm looking forward to the release.

Penny said...

This collection sounds fantastic!