Thursday, October 7, 2021

Genesis: Falling for the Hybrid is live!


 


Blurb:

“Let there be life,” a solemn scientist uttered as he played God. A single Hybrid opened his eyes, changing the course of humanity.

Lucien was living without hope for a mate while the military pursued him. Everything changed the minute he saw Avery. Now he was not only fighting for his people but for a chance to experience love.

Avery was baren, living in a world that only prized women who could have children. Her right to live and die exploded the minute she accepted a drink from a Hybrid and a spark of hope ignited between them.

They became the couple the world hated, danger stalked them, reporters hounded them, and the military wanted the streets to run red with their blood.

War was raging. Could a romance doomed from the start survive? Who would win?

18 years and older


Amazon          Apple         Nook       Google Play

             Kobo           Other


Chapter Two:


He maketh the barren woman to keep house,

and to be a joyful mother of children.

Praise ye the LORD!

Psalms 113:9

Two years after Hybrids have been made public.

The world has been made to see us as

 an evolutionary dead end.

Hybrid history as recorded by Elias.

 

 

Avery sat in the specialist’s waiting room, craning her head to look at the television that was blasting the newest reports of the humans that had been twisted into scientific freaks.

“They used to be human,” the news reporter said. “I have it from a trusted source. They are no longer.”

“They were never human,” the reporter's expert guest said. “There was a plan to get rid of all human races that were considered unwanted.” The male put it delicately. “That’s why they were created, to kill people of color hopefully racially cleansing the earth.”

The reporter, a beautiful African American woman, rolled her eyes.

“You disagree?”

She opened her mouth then closed it as if thinking over her response. “Not wholeheartedly. Do I think some were thinking racial purity? Yes, maybe in the beginning. Have you met Delun, who is obviously not a white male or any of the others? The perfect super-soldier idea died almost from the very beginning, according to my sources.”

“Your sources are misinformed. They may not be white super soldiers, but they were racially targeted. If we can’t make the perfect weapon, then let’s get rid of those who aren’t like us.”

“How do you explain, Lucien?”

“Not every Caucasian male is wanted by the Caucasian race.”

“We’re out of time today. Thank you for coming on, Professor Henderson. You will want to read Professor Henderson’s new book ‘What they aren’t telling you.’ It’s out today.”

“Thank you, Brie.”

“Please come back. We’d love to hear more about the new race sharing our world with us.”

“New race, why don’t they just blow them to hell?” the woman sitting next to her remarked loudly.

“It’s not their fault that they are here.” Avery knew she should keep her mouth closed. “They were like us once upon a time.”

“I am not and have never been a criminal,” the woman said.

“You’re assuming something about them that you can’t know.”

“Where else would they have come from if they weren’t criminals? They found them in jail and used them for twisted experiments because they were the dregs of society. No one would miss them. Then instead of doing the humane thing and putting them out of their misery, they released them onto an unsuspecting world. Don’t be fooled. They are wounded animals that need to be put down like rabid dogs.”

“Ms. Ryan,” the nurse who stepped into the doorway called. “You can come back now.”

Avery stood without replying to the woman. Nothing she said was going to stop the rampant hatred happening. She was angry with herself for saying anything at all.

“Thank you,” she told the nurse after she finished her vital signs before she left, closing the door behind her.

This was her last-ditch effort at a life that she knew was forever out of her reach. She was only here so she could lay to rest this need in her life. When she heard the final news, she would walk forward, refusing to ever look back in her rearview mirror. Some pain wasn’t worth revisiting.

“Ms. Ryan, it’s nice to see you.” The doctor walked in with a smile on her face.

“Dr. Spiva, fancy meeting you in a place like this.” They both laughed, having formed an easy friendship over Avery’s few visits.

“You have the results?” She pressed her damp palms against her jeans, hoping against hope that it would be different this time.

“I do.” Dr. Spiva’s voice was so kind that she knew.

“There’s no more hope.”

“I’m sorry, Ms. Ryan, there’s always adoption.”

Avery nodded her head, too intent with not crying to say anything.

“We looked at everything… Sometimes,” the doctor tried again. “Sometimes modern medicine just doesn’t have the answer, and mother nature, if you believe in that kind of thing, goes her merry way without anyone being able to halt her.”

“Not every blessing is meant for every woman.”

“That is another way to look at it. Ms. Ryan…”

“Avery, please call me Avery.”

“Avery, will you be all right?”

“Yes, I’ve been preparing myself for this very answer.”

The doctor stood, glancing at her watch. “Take your time. I wish I had better news to give you, Avery.”

“It’s been nice knowing you, Dr. Spiva.” The door closed behind the doctor. Avery gave in to a bit of her anguish, just enough so that when she walked out ten minutes later there were no tears in her eyes.

She walked back to the car, her head in a fog. She drove to the little Italian restaurant where she and her best friend had agreed to meet.

Watching Tiff wave at her like she was crazy made her relax as she joined her at the table. She covered a quick yawn and a slight misstep before reaching her friend.

“Not good?” Tiff’s smile disappeared as her eyes took on a shiny look.

“Hey, none of that. We already knew what the most likely outcome would be. Did you order for us?” She tried to change the subject.

“Not yet.” Tiff drew her into a warm hug. “I hoped it would be different.”

Avery closed her eyes and relaxed into her friend, taking this moment to soak up her love before sitting upright.

“I had hoped, but I knew.” She’d been on this journey for a long time. It started when she and her husband decided it was time to have a child. Her wedding day had been one of the happiest in her young life. Others had said that she was too young to start a family, but she ignored them. When they agreed to start their family, she had been so happy. Then a year passed and another. That’s when she started going to different doctors. When they said she wouldn’t be able to have a child, that’s when her marriage, the one that was supposed to last forever, fell apart.

He loved her. That’s what he said when she was presented with the divorce papers. He’d found someone else capable of having children. She was already pregnant, and he was going to marry her and raise his family, but he would always love her, the lying, cheating bastard.

She kept going to specialists until she knew for a fact that there was no chance of ever having a child. Everything was there; it just didn’t work.

Tiff thought she wanted her husband back or some reasonable facsimile in another man. She was wrong. Avery needed to know who she was and to be able to put aside dreams that would never happen. Today she buried her dream of being a mother while opening herself to other dreams.

“What are you going to do?” Tiff asked her.

“I’m going to drink a glass of wine and eat good pasta in a celebration of life. Then I’m going to go home, catch up on work and maybe make plans to take a vacation. I might walk the treadmill.” She was a little thicker than she would like. “Forget the treadmill; give me dessert.”

They both laughed and placed an order with the waitress.

“Have you heard the latest news about the Hybrids?” Tiff asked.

Avery went back, searching her memory, but the truth was she was too busy wallowing in her misery to have time for another’s.

“Maybe, but I don’t remember. It couldn’t have been that big of a deal.”

“It’s breaking news. My phone beeped with the update while I was waiting for you. The Hybrids are not allowed to marry.”

“What? Wait.” She held her hand up before summoning the waitress. “I want a merlot in the biggest glass you have.” She wasn’t much of a drinker, so that would do it for her. When the waitress came back, she took a bracing sip and then another. “All right, run that past me again.”

“The Hybrids—those sexy creatures that seem to come from nowhere—are not allowed to marry humans or each other.”

“Why?”

“The courts didn’t want to allow same-sex marriage because they thought it would encourage human men to spend time with the Hybrids.”

“This is getting out of hand; soon, people will be coming at them with pitchforks and Tiki lanterns.”

“Too late, but it gets better. Apparently, they are unable to procreate, that makes them a subclass of human. They are an evolutionary dead end.”

“Are they saying anyone who can’t have children is subhuman?”

“They are, and that’s how it should be,” the waitress added her two cents as she placed their food on the table.

“What if you couldn’t have children? Would it be fair to classify you as subhuman?” Avery asked her.

“I have two children, thank you very much.” The waitress turned her nose up.

“What if is all I’m asking.”

“Then, like Hannah from the Old Testament, I would pray to have a child and wait for God to answer my prayers.”

“What if he said no?”

“God never says no, not to something like having a family.”

Tiff caught Avery’s arm before she could get up and deck the waitress.

“There are good women across the world who can’t have children. Some might not want them; others do. God didn’t answer their prayers. Or for whatever reason, he said no, and that doesn’t make them subhuman.” It came out gritted between her teeth.

The waitress backed up before hurrying away.

“Did it end there?”

“The church came out with open support of what the supreme court ruled. They said that there is no need for marriage if you can’t produce children. Marriage is to preserve the family.”

“Was that the pope?”

“Straight from his lips to God’s ears.”

“What about the other branches of religion? There are more than the Catholics. What about the Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist, non-denominational? What are they saying?”

“Nothing.”

Was that what mankind really thought? Was she a dead-end, was her line supposed to end because of her inability to have a child? Was the worth of who she was wrapped up in her womb?

“The court doesn’t always get it right. They are governed by the politics of the people who put them in office, and our court has a definite prolife leaning.”

“They’re supposed to take each case at face value.”

“I’m sure they do. The question is, whose value are they using? If there was a man or a woman on the court who couldn’t have children, I’m sure the ruling would have been different. We all take things at face value as if it’s our right until we meet someone who knows differently. I hate to admit it, but if I didn’t know you as well as I do, I might have been bigoted over the whole issue also.”

She didn’t have to like it, but Tiff was right. Until you spent some time with someone who didn’t have the same innate privileges as you, it was hard to understand the other side of the coin.

They ate in silence, each considering the court ruling.

“Tiff, if you had a chance, would you date a Hybrid?”

“I don’t know. There’s hot sex and no chance of pregnancy to think about.”

“There is that, but honestly, would you?”

“I want to be a mother someday. Then I will call on their favorite aunt to babysit for me.” Avery smiled, knowing she would be godmother to her best friend's kids. “Would you?”

“Have you forgotten already? I’ve sworn off men for the rest of my life. A nun without going to the nunnery.”

Tiff rolled her eyes. The sound of plates breaking drew their eyes to the front of the restaurant. Several Hybrids walked in. The busboy dropped a tub of dishes.

“All they did was walk in,” Avery muttered into the silent restaurant. “Are they really that scary?”

The Hybrids turned to look at her as if they heard.


 

 

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Genesis: Falling for the Hybrid - Cover Reveal


The fantastic #Perie Wolford did the cover

The pre-order is live


Chapter One

In the beginning God created

 the heaven and the earth.

Genesis 1:1

That’s not what happened when

 the Hybrids were created.

Hybrid history as recorded by Elias.

 

 

Lucien stood on the roof of a tall building, a part of—yet apart from the world that passed by underneath it. It didn’t know him. If it did, it would never have accepted him. When there was a lull in traffic, he jumped. The twenty-story building didn’t faze him, and the chance that someone was looking up was laugh-worthy. Humans didn’t look up. They moved with their eyes firmly in front of them while some had a modicum of self-preservation and tried to watch what was going on around them.

When he landed, he slipped out of the shadows he merged with and melted into the street traffic. He walked until he came to Café Bean. It was an upper-crust café that served some of the best coffee in the city. It’s where executives sent their assistants for a mid-morning coffee or their afternoon lunch with another cup of coffee.

He sent the barista a smile when he walked in and then went to sit with the others waiting for him. After his tea was delivered, he acknowledged them.

“What was so important I needed to come here?” Two other males were sitting at the table. Each of them was a Hybrid, someone and something that shouldn’t exist. There was nothing like human ingenuity and scientists who thought men were nothing but test subjects.

“Good morning, Lucien,” Damian greeted before he took a sip of his coffee.

Lucien ignored his friend turning to look at Mikhail. “Good morning, Lucien.” Mikhail’s lips twitched, he enjoyed messing with him.

Lucien closed his eyes, not something he would usually do around others before replying. “Morning, Damian and Mikhail. Why are we here?” There was a note of laughter in his voice. If anyone could erase his bad mood, it was the friends with whom he shared his new life.

“Have you seen the news?” Damian asked him.

He had seen it; that was the cause of his bad mood. If things weren’t hard enough, the government decided to do them one better.

“Genetic experiment… The government takes full responsibility… We aren’t God, shouldn’t be playing with man’s DNA… Did I miss anything?”

“Lots,” Mikhail said. “But that sound bite will do.”

The project had been touted as man’s next big evolutionary step. Not that mankind knew about it. It was kept hush-hush. Only those among the need-to-know knew. It never went as high up as the president; they called it plausible deniability. The truth was they didn’t care what he thought.

The plan was simple, easy, really. The experiments started in a petri dish until the right team of scientists walked in one day and found life.

Man thought he became God.

The experiments continued until they realized that growing a child from the DNA they collected was still out of their reach even in the world of clones and in vitro fertilization. Their God status was reduced to only being gods, but that didn’t deter them.

It was time for human trials. They wanted patriots, men who were loyal to country, family, and the American dream. They were plucked from battlefields, reported MIA to a family that would mourn, to children who would grow up without a father. What was one fatherless child compared to the future of the human race?

When they had an army of superior white men to lead them into the future, it was time for step two. Mixing their genes with the general population. They brought in willing and sometimes not-so-willing women to reproduce with those males. The rewards they promised the women for their children never manifested. The thought of superior children, the next great evolution in mankind, never occurred.

The scientists weren’t defeated. They went back to the modern age of egg and sperm and sat back as they waited for the first egg to be fertilized. It was to their shock, their utter horror, that the sperm destroyed the egg, attacking it like it was a foreign toxic substance.

Man’s next evolutionary step had become a dead end. The project was decommissioned; the males who were genetically manipulated either destroyed or left to live a long life in solitary confinement. That’s what the internal documents that were highly redacted suggested. The world would go on, never knowing what they could have become.

Where the slightly ethical scientists ended, the mad scientists began.

“The government didn’t tell the media our names or even what we looked like. They leaked just enough information that anyone with half a brain will be able to figure it out,” Mikhail said drumming his fingers on the table to keep from clenching them.

Lucien spied several humans, giving them second and third looks. Not that it was out of the ordinary, but today in light of the media, they were now wondering if they had been correct all along.

“They want to draw us out. To reinforce the understanding that we are no longer human.” Damian’s hand fisted to control his anger as the coffee in their cups heated.

“Having you around guarantees me the perfect cup of tea,” Lucien dead panned, making Damian’s lips twitch.

They looked from their coffee to his tea and sighed. Lucien was a lost cause as a coffee drinker.

“It’s time we came out of the shadows and made this an equal playing field,” Mikhail said. He was tired of playing games with a government and a military that would destroy them if they could.

“I agree, but why put effort into repudiating the government when we are an evolutionary dead end. Our scientists agree we are not able to procreate with human females,” Lucien said.

“But we can procreate,” Mikhail reminded them. Their scientists had run every genetic factor on their sperm, finding out that they could father the next race, just not with the females available to them.

“Do you suggest that we try to find other races around the galaxy that we are compatible with or find the original aliens that our DNA is now linked with?” Damain asked. He didn’t expect any answers. These were questions they asked themselves in the beginning when it still hadn’t sunk in what had been done to them.

Lucien’s phone rang; he looked around before answering. The person on the other end was frantic.

“Josh, calm down. What happened? I see. Keep your peace; I am meeting with the other two. When a decision is made all will be informed, until then you are no more than you present.” He frowned before placing the phone on the table beside his cup of tea.

“Josh was called into his supervisor's office to be asked if he had seen the news on those Hybrids masquerading as humans.”

“Humans are quite descriptive.” Mikhail laughed.

“Give it some time; we’ll be the nightmare they discipline their children with.” The thought of children gave each of them a soul-deep pain. It wasn’t that they wanted to be fathers right now, but every other male had an opportunity that had been denied them and others like them. That was one of the reasons the old ones had been picked, loyal to family.

“We have a decision to make, one we can no longer put off.” Lucien placed his elbows on the table and steepled his fingers. They had walked up to this line many times only to back off. They were part of this world and thus far had placed more importance on it than on their lives. One leak to the media had changed all that. Now they would have to fight to protect the lives of those they cared for, their brothers.

“How much longer can we hide, Lucien? How much longer can we ask our people to put the wellbeing of those who would see them dead before their own?” Damian said. “Now that the humans know about us, the media will dig until they find the next tidbit of news and exploit it.”

Lucien knew they were right. They had played by the rules the pure humans placed upon them. Those humans had broken the rules leaving more than enough room on the playing field for them to steal the ball. The next choice was obvious, but that didn’t stop him from playing the human side of this game.

“What does it matter? We might not even be alive in a year or ten.”

“The opposite is also true. We may be alive a hundred or a thousand years from now. The scientists, not even ours, can figure out the decomposition rate of our cells.” Mikhail took another sip of his coffee.

Apoptosis, that’s what Galen calls it. He hates the word decomposition, says that is what happens after death.” Damian chuckled, thinking about their other brother.

That was what the future looked like for them. They had no knowledge of when or if they would die. Their chance of having a family was gone, and now the world would be watching them with wary eyes.

“Not every female wants a child,” Mikhail said.

He was right, of course. Lucien flashed back to the scientists who thought the answer to their problem was simple. They would take females, turn them into Hybrids and mate them with males who hadn’t been part of the test. If one option fails, follow up with another.

“This is a brand-new future,” one scientist had taunted him as he placed him in a viewing room. “I want you to see what you will never have.”

On the other side of the two-way glass were twenty women. They were all naked and strapped down. The oldest couldn’t have been more than twenty-one. In their mouths was an athletic guard worn to keep their teeth from breaking through the painful process.

“You will be the mothers of the next race of humans,” one of the scientists told the women as he checked to make sure the straps were secure. 

A covering was dropped over each female. It was clear so they could see what was happening within. They would be given a serum that would change their DNA, but they would also be bombarded with a light that would make the internal DNA change possible. One did not work without the other.

They were white and fit. Most of them had blue eyes and blonde hair. The perfect master race, or so the scientists thought. The clear glass domes lit up with a light that caressed the women's skin on the table like it was a lover. The light made their skin shimmer with a glow reminiscent of a beautiful pearl.

With a word from the lead scientist, the serum was pumped into their veins. Lucien waited. His hand was now on the window wanting to touch one of the women below. Could one of them be a match for him? Could she grant him children and a life that would make becoming a monster worth it?

Then the thrashing came, followed by horrifying screams that penetrated the guards placed in their mouths. The scientists ran to stop the serum. The lights dimmed, and all that was left was the bloody remnants of once beautiful women.

Once was never enough. They killed thousands of women in their quest for a better race until eventually it was noted that the process was not viable on the females of their race. Why was the question they never could answer. Eventually, they assured themselves the fault lies with the female. The x-gene that allowed her to become female also stopped her from advancing on the evolutionary scale. There would never be a human female Hybrid. It was an end to what could have been the master race.

“They should have stopped when they realized that the process wasn’t viable with females,” Damian said, having no trouble following Lucien’s train of thought.

“You ask them to do the impossible. They betrayed the world and then used their experiments that wouldn’t grant them a master race on those who wouldn’t kowtow to them or their threats. We are the result of revenge gone awry,” Mikhail spoke, his eyes flashing.

“It is time to step out of the shadows.” Lucien stood, allowing the cloak he kept in place to fall. His two brothers stood doing the same.


 


 




Friday, September 17, 2021

Genesis: Falling for the Hybrid

 


Genesis: Falling for the Hybrid
Book One




Blurb:

“Let there be life,” a solemn scientist uttered as he played God. A single Hybrid opened his eyes, changing the course of humanity. 

Lucien was living without hope for a mate while the military pursued him. Everything changed the minute he saw Avery. Now he was not only fighting for his people but for a chance to experience love.

Avery was baren, living in a world that only prized women who could have children. Her right to live and die exploded the minute she accepted a drink from a Hybrid and a spark of hope ignited between them.

They became the couple the world hated, danger stalked them, reporters hounded them, and the military wanted the streets to run red with their blood.

War was raging. Could a romance doomed from the start survive? Who would win?

18 years and older

 Preorder      Amazon


This will be coming to the other outlets before it goes live





Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Good Reads Giveaway

 

Genesis: Falling for the Hybrid


Enter my Good Reads Giveaway for a chance at a signed print book the first in my new upcoming series The rise of the Hybrids.


Good Reads Giveaway





Sunday, August 8, 2021

Asa Paranormal Romance

Meet: Balja
Asa - Heaven and Hell
Book three - Series finally


Pre-order now the book is live Tuesday, Aug, 10th

Blurb:

Read the final book in the romantic, fast-paced adventure series Between Heaven and Hell 

Jayla’s hands dripped with blood, and her heart was shredded. The only road to redemption was the one she didn’t want to take.

Asa was surrounded by a wall that kept the family he loved distant. To get close, he’d have to face the thought that he may let them down.

When the female on a suicidal mission meets the hell beast unable to love, time stood still. Before it would resume, their destiny would try to pull them apart.

Could you love someone so much that you were willing to die for them? They were about to be tested. If they passed, then the real tests would begin.

Sometimes the fate of the world rested on the least likely heroic shoulders.

For readers 18 and older


Excerpt:

Moving faster than she had in years, she put her clothes up and took a shower. Asa was waiting for her, and she wanted to see him while she still felt like she could fly.

“That smells good. Not like breakfast.”

“It’s lunch, but if you want breakfast.”

“No, I didn’t realize how much time had passed.” She pulled out her phone and realized it was past noon. “Sorry, it took me so long.” Who knew that having a ‘come to Jesus moment’ sometimes took hours?

“I was happy to wait.”

Wait… what? He was happy to wait. She searched his gaze but couldn’t find any signs of a lie. He had been okay with giving her time to fight her demons.

“Who are you?”

“Asa, don’t you remember?” The frown on his face made her want to smile.

“That’s not what I meant. I know your name, but who are you. Why are you okay with waiting for me?”

He gestured for her to sit then he served her before sitting. “I’ve waited for centuries for you. I didn’t know I was waiting. How could I know that my inability to breathe was because you weren’t in the room? My soul cried out, and all that answered was the empty hollowness of space and time, and then you took your first breath. Still, how was I to know that the slight easing of the pressure in my chest was because you had been born? Then you came here, and the little bit of the soul I retained fought with my brain over who you were. When you left, I could have died, but I had to believe if my soul were correct, you’d be back. After our talk, I knew there was still a chance that you would leave.

“So, I waited. Not because I wanted you to leave. I care too much already, to make you do something you didn’t want, even if it will make my life easier. You can’t know this because humans don’t realize the other half of their souls quickly, but I know who you are to me. What I don’t know is if we have tomorrow. That’s why I’m taking a chance and telling you how I feel.”

She dropped her gaze to her plate and started eating. She didn’t want to shut him out, but that was a lot for a woman who thought she was an island just hours ago.

“No one ever cared about me. I don’t have any parents. I’m sure I do, but I never met them.” She said around bites of spaghetti. “I was raised in a house with other girls. There were foster parents. I never wondered why I wasn’t adopted because none of the other girls were adopted. When I was old enough that being eighteen after graduating high school, I thought I might go to college. It didn’t work that way. The day after graduation, I was collected and moved to a new house where I would spend the rest of my life on my back, allowing every man or woman who wanted me to fuck me or worse. That was my life. I have a Ph.D. in sex, but I know nothing about love or want. You know the rest of my story.”

“I’m a hell beast. I remember blood and screams.”

“Is that all?”

He hesitated before going on. “We have an older brother. I can still remember how he protected us, taught us to be males of honor. That didn’t mean there wasn’t blood and screams, but they had a meaning, a reason. When he was taken from us, killed, there wasn’t a reason to hold onto the decency he taught us. Those years haunt me; even with all I did, there was a line I wouldn’t… couldn’t cross. The lessons of my upbringing were hard-earned, but I wouldn’t let them go. It would have shamed his memory. I wouldn’t allow my brothers to cross that line either. Of the three of us, I was the one that came the closest to the line. In turn, for the hell I glimpsed on the other side; I saved their souls. That’s how we ended up here. We would not do what we were being driven to do. Our punishment was to be confined in the Mist. The Mist is a place designed to slowly drive you insane. Every day I wake, I expect our reprieve to be over and to be back there. I have nothing worthwhile to offer you, while everything money can buy.”




 

Friday, July 9, 2021

Rada- Between Heaven and Hell

Meet Bullet
You can find him and his friends in
Rada- Between Heaven and Hell
Book 2





Blurb:

Moxie’s skill with a gun was valuable to the demons. Blood-covered bullets and a cold heart are her life.

Rada’s life was about protecting his family and his heart. The thought of finding someone who may be able to touch it scared him.

What happens when a former assassin and a hell beast come together? Fireworks and the shaking of the very foundations their lives were built on.

Together they would learn what it meant to stand outside of time. Would any of that matter when death was stalking them, intending to make their future a double coffin? Can love survive when their lives are on the line?

Excerpt:

Moxie drove through what looked like miles of land that could be used to pasture animals, but there weren’t any around. Then she hit the woods. They were made of tall trees that seemed to repel the sunlight. When the trees gave way and the town appeared, all she could do was stop on the edge with her car idling while she stared in shock. It was like the past met the present and melded together to make the future. Everything from grass huts to modern buildings to futuristic buildings looking like it was made from crystal stretched as far as she could see.

None of it made sense, and yet together, it was in perfect symmetry. This really was someplace Between Heaven and Hell. She cruised down the mostly empty streets. Where was everyone? A woman was standing on the sidewalk. She slowed down to ask her some questions. When Moxie pulled close, the woman walked away, leaving behind a young boy.

“I’ve been waiting for you.” He smiled, showing the gap in his teeth.

She didn’t say anything. How was she supposed to respond to such a ridiculous statement from a child?

The boy shook his head in disgust then gave her another bright smile before speaking. “I have to continually remind myself that humans are slower to understand.”

Her mouth was open; the worry about a fly thinking it was a nice dark place to hide was real.

“Close your mouth. The things around here are worse than flies; you don’t want to invite them in.”

Her mouth closed so fast her teeth rattled.

“You need to go to the house of the beast. They will be waiting for you.”

Before she could form a question, the boy was back with his mother. She put the car in drive, wondering how she would find the house of the beast. After what felt like lots of wrong turns, she sat facing a grand house. The nicest one she had seen, modern but somehow nicer than the futuristic ones along the way. It could have been an old mansion or a fancy bed and breakfast. Whatever it was, she liked the looks of it.

On either side of the wide stairs was a statue of a beast. Her eyes slid off one, but the other grabbed hold of her, not letting go. She thought she saw it move. Taking the heels of both hands, she rubbed her eyes. The statue was staring at her holding her in thrall. There was no way for her to open the car door. Had she even put it in park? When the eyes blinked for a minute, she could get a good look at the beast. He was black with icy white tips on his fur. Then she was caught in its eyes again. This time she could see them. They were icy green. An inhuman green that promised to burn you from the cold.

She gasped, trying to force air through her lungs when the statue became nothing more than a statue. Her head hurt like she was in the middle of an illusion. One slow breath at a time, she closed her eyes, reaching for her equilibrium. Once she was calm, she got out of the car to see two men sitting on the steps. How had she missed them? Her eyes flicked to the statue, but it made a mockery of her by not moving.

“Hi.” She approached the two men. “One of the people in town directed me here.” Probably not in her best interest to tell them it was a little boy.

When neither of them said anything, she stumbled on. “They told me to come to the house of the beast.”

She looked at the two statues again. They were like nothing she ever saw before.

“I don’t have time for this.” One of the men stood walking up the stairs.

“You can’t leave me here with her,” the other still sitting called out.

Moxie felt lower than a piece of gum attached to the bottom of her shoe. The disdain in the man's voice told her everything he thought about her.

“I’ll find another place to stay in a nicer town.” She dusted off her pride before she turned around.

“You might as well stay.” The man’s voice was even more frigid now that he was addressing her directly. “The borders won’t open for you. They let you in but won’t let you out.”



 

Friday, July 2, 2021

Rada - Between Heaven and Hell

 


Rada
Between Heaven and Hell
By: Serena Simpson
Coming July 8th

Blurb:

Moxie’s skill with a gun was valuable to the demons. Blood-covered bullets and a cold heart are her life.

Rada’s life was about protecting his family and his heart. The thought of finding someone who may be able to touch it scared him.

What happens when a former assassin and a hell beast come together? Fireworks and the shaking of the very foundations their lives were built on.

Together they would learn what it meant to stand outside of time. Would any of that matter when death was stalking them, intending to make their future a double coffin? Can love survive when their lives are on the line?


Chapter One

Moxie adjusted the visor as the sun came in at a different angle. She was keeping an eye on the blue car that stayed behind two others. They, her, and the other cars were all on the highway, but the other car never passed hers. Sometimes it was far enough away that she could only catch a glimpse of it, but it was following her. Why? Because her father died several weeks ago. That meant no one had anything they could hold over her head. If she were smart enough, fast enough, she’d be free. The person or people following her didn’t want that to happen.

She dreamed of freedom from the moment she realized she and her father were slaves. She wasn’t treated too badly initially, mainly because she didn’t know the men in the room holding guns were there to kill her if her father refused to do as ordered.

When she got older, became more aware, they were moved out of their nice house to a monitored place. That’s when she learned somebody had to pay the price. If her dad said no, then she was beaten and threatened with rape. He learned quickly, not wanting to put her life in danger. The physical beatings stopped, but the mental torture ramped up. She never told him about that. He was doing the best he could to make her life easy, and she did the same for him.

Now he was gone. Wrong place, wrong time, or so the cops said. She didn’t believe it. Her father was still great at what he did. It was a set-up; the evil that controlled him wanted to move onto a younger, more lethal model, her.

Her dad taught her everything he knew about putting a bullet in a person’s brain. ‘Always go for the kill shot, Baby, or don’t pick up a gun.’ Yeah, she learned from the best. She also learned to endure mental torture from the best. Most of the time, physical agony stopped but not mental torture. It was always there banging at the back and even the front of your mind, demanding to be let in. It haunted you even when you were laughing with friends. Not that she knew what having friends was like.  It would send you to your room paranoid that someone or something was out to get you.

Unfortunately, her paranoia was real. There were people and things out to get her. One of them was in the car that was still following her.

It was time to do what she did best. She pulled over into the empty lane looking for the next exit. When she found it, she saw a hill the was backed up by cars. She merged onto it, knowing her stalkers would follow. She drove until a thicket of trees appeared on the right side of the road. She pulled over, leaving the emergency blinking lights on before she got out. There was a black case in her hand. She never left home without it.

The trees were beckoning to her. She slid between them, doing her best not to disturb any of the leaves. When she found a sturdy tree she could climb, she took the time to assemble her custom-made VSS vintorez high-powered rifle with the built-in silencer before climbing the tree. She might hate the people who tried to control her, but they provided pretty and expensive toys for her to play with. This was one of her favorites. The range wasn’t as long as she liked, but she had always been able to compensate for that. She had a pistol strapped to her waist, too, just for emergency use.

She laid flat on the branch, trying to blend in with her surroundings. Come to mama, she sent out her mental distress call. Two men came crashing through the woods. She almost wanted to laugh. Hadn’t anyone taught them to be stealthy? No, of course not. They believed that she was owned heart and soul. There was no need to be quiet. She would come like a dog when called kneeling at her master’s feet demanding a head rub or a treat.

In all fairness to them, they were almost right. While her father lived, she toed the line. They said beg, and she did. When the master said present, she did. When he said suck my cock and enjoy it, she did. Okay, she didn’t enjoy it, but she was good at faking it. Why? Because her dad’s life depended on it. She was thirty-one years old and had lived in hell since she was five. When she got the message her father was dead, she hadn’t run. She fell to her knees and lost her shit. Then she buried him. After that, everyone was watching her, waiting for her to make a break for it. She didn’t. Grief was a powerful emotion, and it took time to work through it.

Finally, her father’s message, the one he would whisper to her at night as a child surfaced. ‘When you get a chance, you run and keep running. They don’t want your life; they want your soul.’ She never knew if he sold his to keep her safe, but hers wasn’t up for grabs.

They were getting closer; she looked through the scope. When she sighted the first one, she pulled the trigger. There was no remorse or second-guessing. The second one screamed and ducked. She waited patiently for him to reemerge. She could wing him, but she wanted a kill shot. Leaving anyone alive to report on where she was or what direction she was heading was nothing but a death wish.

He was much quieter now as he came through the underbrush, but she still caught the small noises he made. A flash of his shirt alerted her to how close he was. She flung her rifle over her shoulder and shimmied up the tree wanting a better vantage point. Had he realized she was up high when she shot his companion? He didn’t seem to be looking at the tree line, but she wouldn’t put anything past him. Quickly she changed her bullets, not believing for a moment her stalker was human.

When he came into view, he was frothing at the mouth, with wickedly sharp teeth showing. There was nothing human in the eyes that searched for her. When he looked up, she almost froze. Red eyes rimmed in black caught hers. They tried to mesmerize her. She knew that look. He was commanding her to come to him. They promised pain that he was more than able to provide. Her insides melted along with her will. She wanted to give up, to allow her master, the one who controlled her, owned her, to call her to heel.

She breathed through her desire to capitulate even as he let out a high pitch sound that drilled into her ears and festered inside her brain. She needed to take the shot before she couldn’t resist any longer. With shaky hands, she pulled the trigger. Her bullet was off trajectory. It was going to miss; she could see it like it already played out. She coached the bullet to change course with a strength of will she didn’t consciously know she possessed.

It jerked, slowing down, not giving her the velocity she needed before coming to land in his neck. She wanted a headshot. He roared, but she already sent a second bullet at him. This time her hands weren’t shaking. She hit him dead center before almost falling out of the tree as she climbed down.

Her hands were shaking again. It was taking too long to tear down her rifle and pack it away. When you killed something that wasn’t human, there was no guarantee it would stay dead. She took the long way around the two dead men to make it back to her car.

Once inside, she merged into traffic, looking for the first detour she could take that would get her far away from where she was. She traveled for several hours before she saw it. There was a small dirt road that seemed to break off from the main highway.

The small sign read welcome to Between Heaven and Hell population three thousand three hundred and fifty-four.

She smiled; they would never look for her in such a small place. She never saw the sign change to read three thousand three hundred and fifty-five.

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