A Review of Siren’s Call

A Review of Siren’s Call

It has been a while since I posted any thing that was not related to my own books, and I figured writing my review of a recently purchased novel would be great way to welcome my come back into the blogging world. Being an independent author is difficult in itself. Just the idea alone of taking on multiple roles (not even including the title “author”) is a sobering experience. It is a reality that even I face, and when I stepped out onto the scene after several unsuccessful attempts at getting published, I realized that this is not a journey any of us should take alone. I support any and every indie author to the fullest, doing any and everything in my power to promote their work. Every little bit of exposure counts, and I had heard great reviews about Jessica Cage’s book, Siren’s Call-hell, it was even granted an award by the Reader’s Favorite- and so I ordered it from her, she personalized the autograph AND sent me a bookmark. I began my journey into Syrinada’s world of mermaids yesterday and my journey came to an end today. Here are my thoughts:

According to Wikipedia, a siren  “In Greek mythology, the Sirens (Greek singular: Σειρήν Seirēn; Greek plural: Σειρῆνες Seirēnes) were dangerous yet beautiful creatures, who lured nearby sailors with their enchanting music and voices to shipwreck on the rocky coast of their island”.

The main character, or heroine is awakened to a new sense of being with powers that she must learn to control. After an unfortunate turn of  events, she discovers she is a siren;that her mother was a siren and her father is a warlock. Due to her mixed breeding, there are two sides of a war that are after her. She is unique to her kind, a variable and highly unpredictable and the one responsible for guiding her through this journey is the ever present, ever watchful, super attractive Malachai. Malachi is what one would consider a “merman” and his family (for undisclosed reasons) were given the duty of watching over her until the time came when she would discover who and what she is. His family are sworn to protect her and as the story unfolds, she will definitely need his help.

There is a particular twist in the novel, which involves Malachi’s older, wiser, and confident brother Demetrius, and I suppose that there will be a lot more of him in the pending sequel. Now, there is a lot to be desired throughout the course of the book. I wanted more from Syrinada. I wanted to eat what she ate, hear what she heard, see what she saw, and feel what she felt. I wanted more strength. I wanted more conflict between her desires, her thoughts and her pain. I wanted to feel every ounce of betrayal, every nuance of gradual acceptance into the world that was thrust upon her. However, aside from that there are elements from the book that I am more than happy to explore and one of the elements being female sexuality.

Upon her awakening, not only are her senses heightened, and she possesses supernatural abilities that I predict will aid her in her continued quest into self discovery, she blossoms from a shy, almost demure girl into a woman with needs-no, scratch that, demands. Throughout the ages, women have been trained to believe that embracing their own sexual thirsts and quenching them would render them as “used”, “unwanted”, “dirty”, and a plethora of other negative labels that women are still being plagued with today. Syrinada embraces her newfound “awakening”, and although she does experience some feelings of shame, she quickly understands and accepts that being “sexual” is a part of who and what she is. She demands to be pleasured and the men she commands all too happily oblige.

I can appreciate the fact that this book is a straight no chaser type of read. I am not one for the slow building of a scene. I can appreciate detail to some degree but not to the point where I am bored out of my mind. The thing that I liked most about the story is the fact that it is original and with each chapter I am motivated by the sheer fact that the plot is interesting. I kept asking myself, “Well damn what the hell is going to happen next?” and before I knew it, I was finishing the last few pages of the book.

In conclusion, I can see Siren’s Call in development for a CW production. I like the concept. I like the authenticity of it. Now granted, I can be a bit of a hard nut to crack when reading a new book. I have a very short list of favorite authors and that is because I have been spoiled beyond repair by the likes of L.A. Banks, J.R. Ward, and Karen Marie Moning. But I will say that I will be purchasing book two of the Siren Series to see where Syrinada will end up and which brother will she choose. I will also suggest if witches and mermaids tickle your fancy, well this is the book for you.

Remember to support indie authors. And for all of you writers out there both published and unpublished, let us support each other in good will and never forget that there is room on a book shelf for more than one book. 1795597_532084253567230_7038278173835978212_n

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Another excerpt from Raphael…(Current WIP)

Chapter eight

Raphael swung at the air in frustration. His so called “savior” had not only abandoned him, but now she was pulling out all stops to ignore and evade his advances. To finally have met her in person, and not as an apparition or in the form of a vision had been the greatest joy he had experienced since his imprisonment. Sure she was a bit inexperienced in her gifts, but the fact remains that she is gifted indeed, and perhaps much stronger than she knew. Her grey eyes were unmistakable; such a peculiar shade of grey, smoky and indistinct; with a deep blue tint to it. He wondered where she inherited the gene. But besides all of that, she fooled him, disappeared and then using not only her powers but her wit to avoid him. However,  he doubted her wit would best him when it came to a test of wills. Since she mentally blocked him from visiting her in her dreams, he would appear in every single one of her reflections until she is driven to the point of madness. He would disrupt every moment of her daily life until she consented to freeing him from this cursed dungeon. He would free himself and his brothers, and rid the world of the person responsible. He knew she had the power to not only free him but send him back to his time where he could regain his life back, raise his children and recommit himself to his wife. After that, she could go back to whatever life she was living undisturbed.

He opened his mind to search for the connection to her, and to his dismay, she was sleeping and therefore had him blocked. He would reach out to her again in a few hours when he was sure she was awake. But in the meantime, at least he knew for a fact she was of age and ready to assist, and he would do whatever it took to convince her to do so. He took a seat against the wall, and rested his arms onto his knees. It had been centuries since he had tasted food and drink; centuries since he felt the tender touch of a woman and almost a millennia since he wielded his sword. He had been suspended in time, trapped in isolation and for the life of him could not figure out why-well, he knew why or at least part of the why: the bastard was after his land…and his poor wife.

He knew that he and Annamarie were not exactly on the best of terms prior to his capture. For whatever reason she had distanced herself from him, perhaps to deal with her fears regarding the pregnancy alone since she wasn’t one to really share her thoughts and feelings anyways. But no woman could resist him. He had never had a problem when it came to winning the heart and body of a woman, but for this woman, he actually had to put in effort to win her affections; and when he did the victory that followed felt…hallow.  Even when he took her on their wedding night, he recalled her response to be less than enthused…

The eating and drinking and the rest of the festivities that took place from the moment their vows were exchanged would probably continue well into the next sunrise for this was a momentous occasion for the Caspian men. Raphael was the first of his brothers to wed, and the people that his family had protected since the dawn of time were anxious for another heir.  Raphael whisked his new bride away to a small castle that his father had built from the ground up as a wedding gift to his mother. After her death, Raphael had sworn that he would give whoever the lucky woman that won his heart the very home that his father had built for a woman that had done more than won his heart. And so, that is what he did. Once he secured her onto his horse, her long white gown flowing across the back of the white mare and onto the grassy plain, he hopped on effortlessly and off they went into the wind. The crowds behind them cheered them on, and although he himself was filled with joy, his new bride did not possess the beaming quality most women wore when they finally wed the man that their hearts desired. He managed to brush it off as wedding jitters, and with her still being a virgin, he could understand her fears. But he promised himself that he would take his time, be as gentle as he could with her, and make sure that she enjoyed every second of his love. He kissed her lovingly on top of her head as they rode off into the distance.

Night had come when they reached their destination. The castle had been prepped for their arrival; the staff was ready at the gates to greet them; the banner with his family’s crest was lifted and on full display, and once she was safely off of the horse, he carried her across the threshold just as any doting husband would. Once inside, he personally gave her a tour of the home he grew up in, and every now and then she would admiringly gaze at the pictures of his family that hung sporadically throughout the halls. She seemed impressed with the décor: a cross between two periods of Gothic and Medieval and a few items here and there that differed in culture and theme. He wanted to show her every nook and cranny of the 14 room abode, but there were more pressing things that he was anxious to get to, and one of them creating a magnificent bulge in his britches.

He guided her to their room, where he had hoped to spend a great deal of time in; and she nervously glanced around at the hundreds of tiny candles that he had his servants light to create a romantic and calming ambiance to set the mood. The massive bed was scattered  with rose petals from the garden, and he had the purple drapes opened just so that the light of the moon could serenade them a silent song of light. He wanted to show her that he was more than a warrior-he was a man of worth; someone who was thoughtful, open and ready to give whatever she asked for. He would be her slave tonight and she would be his master. His manhood thickened in anticipation. She took a seat on the edge of the bed and when he neared her, she jumped up quickly and said, “I-I need to freshen up.”

“Don’t worry about that Annamarie. I know that you were bathed and prepped for this moment,” He whispered gently to her. “I want to taste everything about you…and I don’t mind a little sweat.”

“But we were on the horse a good while and-“

“Come to me as you are darling. I cannot bear to wait another second for this moment…”

She tried to resist but he quickly took her mouth with his and he held there, tasting every nook and cranny of her mouth… he scooped her up and gently laid her on the bed, positioning her beneath him. Kicking off his boots and removing his sword, he went to work on unfastening each button, untying each lace before her smooth naked body tremored beneath him. His mouth went dry the moment his eyes were greeted with the most perfectly large breasts that fit so naturally with her curvy body. Her green eyes staring back at him in nervous anticipation. He unfastened the tightly wrapped coils that were her hair and watched it cascade down in waves across her chest. The creamy mounds of flesh that made up her breasts were topped with a cherry of nipple that tightened from the chill of the night air, and once he spread her legs before him, her valley, now fully exposed and ready for his exploring made him dizzy from the sight. Her legs were already trembling and he had yet to do anything other than kiss her, but he figured it was nothing but anxiety from this being her first encounter. He crushed her body with his, and she gasped while he kissed her deeply and lovingly. He left trail after trail of kisses until her face flushed crimson and she cried out for more.

Delirious from pleasure and hungry for more, he hurriedly stripped from his clothing before crushing her again, this time anxiously easing the tip of his prized possession into her core. She flinched only slightly from the invasion, but even in his pleasure maddened state, he realized that there was no barrier as other maidens had upon their first encounters. He should know… As he pushed himself deeper, and she cried out from the pleasure, and still…no barrier…no resistance at all. His body responded in kind to her slick, wet, cavern and he proceeded to take her in the manner that any other man would. All gentleness went out of the window as his demands took over; and she responded in kind. She bit her lip, scratched his back, and opened her legs wider to take more of him into her, and he rode her until her legs could no longer tremble and she was weak from exhaustion. His climax was intense and when he finally rolled from on top of her, she rolled over and said not one word until the time came for breakfast that morning.  He never brought it up to her either, he simply let the concern go in hopes of being able to enjoy what was supposed to be the happiest moment of his life. Although, when he did take her several more times before heading back to his main fortress with the rest of his family, the fact that there was no barrier plagued him; and since that day he never brought her back to that castle. He would allow one of his brothers to have it if requested.

He shook off the memory. There were many more like that and most of them he swept under the rug for the sake of his marriage. There was no question Annamarie had been with another, perhaps that man he had wooed her away from, he was not that naïve. The question that had always remained in his heart was did her love equal to that of which he carried in his own heart? The only way to find out would be through this Winnie woman. She could set him free and send him back. He would just have to work harder to convince her; and he would do so by any means necessary.

(Release Date: TBD)

New Character Alert: Raphael (Book 1 of the Marked Series) Release Date TBD

Chapter Two A Slave With Two Tongues

1350 A.D.

Nothing but the sound of his own heartbeat flooded his brain as he drove his blade deep into the chest cavity of the entity that had long plagued his village with a war that seemed to be as endless as Time itself. The two clans had been warring for so long that no one really knew how or when it started. But he knew one thing; he was going to finish it one way or the other. He would not bring his children into the world to fight what their father could not, and never know the sweet joy of what true peace felt like. They would never live in fear; know what it takes to the learn the mysteries of the swords they would carry…no. This fight would end before they entered into the world; there is already enough evil and turmoil in the world that they would have to adjust to and dealing with the Lizard clan was not an option.

The sword pierced the black heart of the Lizardman before exiting through his back. The creature’s eyes widened, his red pupils expanding then retracting as he screamed and gurgled before his body finally succumbed to the darkness from which it originated from, and Raphael watched without emotion as the lifeless body collapsed onto the muddy ground. His brothers were busy themselves, fighting back the enemy that had destroyed the hundreds of small villages that surrounded their main stronghold. The Isle of Capsos’ which was just north of Ireland and almost twice its size had become a booming nation in the sea trades, and his family had not only been one of the few ruling class families that dominated the ports, but were also of warrior blood. Training in combat had been one of his family’s specialties, and many generations before him, men of his breeding also took interest in the business of mercenary work; hiring off their skill set in exchange for exorbitant pay by the princes, kings, and men of power and prestige seeking to put an end to their enemies.

He skillfully dodged a swing from behind, and turned to face his enemy: another one of those disgusting soldiers. Red hateful eyes greeted him with a twisted snarl. The human entity that met him with a serrated toothy grin, stood at almost 9 feet in height, and built like one of the many Redwoods that offered a protective refuge to his camp. The Lizard man, as those of his kind were called, wore nothing but tattered rags that barely covered his waist, leaving a great deal of his body exposed and vulnerable. Raphael reacted quickly and lowered a powerful punch into the creature’s jaw, forcing it to stumble back. Despite its lack of protection, the Lizards were a powerfully formidable race. They possessed skills that rendered them almost unstoppable in battle, well except for him and his brothers. They knew exactly how to kill them.

The creature quickly recovered and charged, moving at a speed impossible for the human eye to follow and slammed into Raphael, knocking him to the ground and into a thick puddle of mud. The impact, despite the muddy cushioning not only left him stunned, but left at a disadvantage. The entity, now piled on top of him, layered a series of punches to his face, and had it not been for Micah’s arrow piercing the creature from behind, Raphael knew that today would have been the day he met his fate. He rolled the creature off of him, as his brother emerged from the shadows, cautiously surveying the scene for a potential ambush. When he saw there was none he hurried over to his brother’s side and extended his hand which Raphael gratefully grasped, and helped him to his feet.

“Looks like you almost had it there brother,” Micah mused pointedly.

“Indeed I did…”

“Are you well?”

“Not a scratch.”

“How many?” Micah quizzed  still looking around. The sun had long set, and the surrounding darkness did nothing to ease the sense of dread that begun to fill the pit of his stomach.

“Twelve this time. They attacked the villagers on the eastern side of the lake. It was another ambush. Half of the village is either dead or dying. A few managed to escape and are taking refuge in the church where we have men standing guard.”

“They are becoming much more aggressive in their tactics brother,” Micah said rubbing the stubble that was forming on his narrow chin.

“Indeed. We need to figure out the source of their power; we know very little of their origins and have only within recent centuries have uncovered their vulnerabilities. Father says they may-“

“Enough for now,” Micah exhaled with a slight grin. “Your wife awaits you. She sits by the window  watching the sun rise and set as while the young within her grows. I believe she fears that someday you will not come home. Mother has tried to persuade to come to the gardens with her but she declines…”

“Ah, I will go to her. I had no idea that she awaited me with such longing. I have been too preoccupied with-“

“Winning a war that cannot be won. Our men are dying-“

“Which means our children will have to pick up the fight.”

Micah ran his fingers through his dark shoulder length hair that was  pulled back tightly behind his ears, and lowered his gaze. “It is an unfortunate fate to inherit.”

Raphael said nothing more as he tried to wipe away some of the mud from the back of his leathers, and tried not to think about the growing distance that seemed to have his pregnant wife beyond the edge of his grip. Something was amiss with her, and he had spent many days trying to convince her to open up but to no avail. He figured her moods may have something to do with the pregnancy and hoped by the time the babes were born, she would return to her normal talkative self.

He picked up his sword that had fallen just a few feet or so away from the fallen entity and returned it to its sheath. He took one last look at the creature whose race had plagued this nation’s history since its inception, and made a mental note to return after consorting with his wife, to properly dispose of the body. There was already enough death that haunted the valleys that kept his people awake at night, and the last thing he needed was an epidemic like that of the Black Death that was currently sweeping through Europe at rate that was almost exponential. When he was ready, he allowed his brother to take the lead, so that he may have time to gather his thoughts.

This was life for him and the people of Capsos; when night fell the blossoming economic cities had to take refuge behind monolithic gates made of iron, and the small villages had to hunker down as best they could underneath the protection of the masters of the castles that ruled over them in the areas that extended far beyond the grasp of the cities. And once daylight arrived, what it would reveal would haunt the memories of the people for a lifetime. Small towns burned to the ground, some of its residents left half eaten, or worse: turning into one of those lizard entities just to begin their own reign of terror in the next village.

They continued their walk in silence until they reached their horses on the other side of the bank, safely hidden behind a thicket of trees and bushes that provided the landscape a protective covering that would have been the perfect escape route for a villager on the run from the menacing jaws of Lizard men. Once he mounted his horse, an all-white mare of impeccable breeding, he would only have a few short hours to recover before he was out to battle again. Being a Shadow Warrior was indeed an unfortunate fate to inherit.

Annamarie sat nearest the window facing the gardens inside the stone walled monolith that not only protected her and her family from the rest of the world that is now being terrorized by the race of demonic men whose purpose was unclear. She brushed her hand across her belly, feeling the firm roundness and the tiny indent where one of her young had pressed upon with she assumed to be its foot. She smiled, but only for the minute joy of giving birth to children that are undoubtedly hers. Since the moment her nursemaid informed her that she was with child, while her husband found every moment he could to celebrate, and the entire fortress lit up with excitement, she knew that time had become her prison. Once the children were born certain undeniable truths would be uncovered, and then she would either have to flee for her life or risk being executed by the same man who protected her valiantly.

She blinked twice to shed the huge droplets that were making her eyes blurry at the thought of what may be a part of her fate. She hoped that the children come out looking so much like her that no one would dare to question their paternity, but then that was nothing more than hope. She had seen families where an entire brood of children looked like mini replicas of their mother while the father looked like the odd man out. It made her wonder if Raphael knew about her indiscretions and was simply waiting for the moment of truth before coming to a conclusion, but then again, unlike his brothers, Raphael was always the first to react.

She looked down at the gardens where she and her husband used to stroll hand in hand prior to the wedding. Unbeknownst to him, her heart belonged to another although there wasn’t anything about the warrior that made him difficult to love. It was just her father did not like the man that had stolen her heart, and he wanted her to marry someone that not only could protect her but provide for her as well; and although Raphael took his responsibilities seriously, and nor did he fail in any shape or form, but the one who was meant for the soul is the hardest to release, and that was just it in her case.

She carefully stood up so that she could grab a taste of the moonlight that washed over the acres of land that Raphael had declared as hers. The phantom moonlight caress was all that she needed to return to a semblance of “normal” just in time for her husband to arrive. She could hear him down in the main room with his brother Micah, his voice low in less than audible whispers for reasons she assumed to be so that she may be unaware of his recent battle. She dared not leave their bedroom where she had confined herself for many days because for one she was underdressed in the night gown that now failed to cover her growing assets, and two, because she just wasn’t ready to face her husband. She purposely kept her distance from him, and she hoped to do the same tonight.

She crawled into their spacious bed blanketed with bear skin, and thought to pretend to be ill so that she could avoid any of his questions, but most importantly his touch. She tied her thick waves of blonde hair high above her head to prevent him from being tempted to run his fingers through it. It had been months since they had joined together as one, and despite his bedroom skills were legendary, the burden that she carried did not allow her to enjoy his touch or his masculine scent the way that she used to. The idea of him touching her was enough to make her vomit.  She snuggled deeper underneath the blankets and closed her eyes and prayed that sleep would find her. As she heard his heavy footsteps in the hallway, his destination clear, a plan began to weave its way into forefront of her mind; and once she heard the door to the room creak open announcing his presence, she wondered if time would permit such betrayal.

Sin: Daughter of the Grim Reaper-Available September 1, 2015

Sin: Daughter of the Grim Reaper-Available September 1, 2015

Sample Chapter.

There was nothing like having his powers once again in his possession and at his command. As he sped through the atmosphere like a meteor on a mission, he blazed through the night sky plunging deep beneath the earth’s surface, opening a portal into the lower realms. Hell had recognized that the Reaper of all Reapers had returned to his full glory, and he could sense the tremors of the souls of the damned and the thousands of entities that occupied the cursed place as they realized he had returned. With his mind, he opened a secret gateway into a realm he had created specifically for the one soul who mattered most to him, and he quickly stepped inside and made sure to close the portal behind him.

He had created for her scenery mimicking that of what is found in the country of Ireland. He remembered her saying before she died that she had wanted to travel to Europe, with Ireland being at the top of the list, and so to honor her vision, he created for her a never ending landscape of lush green pastures that transitioned from a flat surface to a sloping hilltop. He made sure to filter in the sun’s natural light to give it the dreamy, early morning appearance with the bright pinks and oranges dancing about on the horizon in an abstract version of a dream world. And just beyond the hilltop, he built for her a one story home made from brick and stone. He wanted to build her a castle, but she insisted on something smaller and to his dismay he built her dream home and furnished it with everything he could imagine. He even made sure to create a small lake for her; however it broke his heart to not have the power to fill it with life. No birds could grace the sky, and no fish to fill the lake…everything was an illusion but it was the best that he could do considering what he put her through.

He could sense Sin’s distress, but he knew his daughter: she would fight until the very end. Asmodeus would die by his hand: he would rip his wings from his body, only to plunge the Scythe deep into his chest before his tore his head from his shoulders. The only thing keeping him partially sane is the fact that the Dominion could hold Asmodeus off until he arrived to unleash his wrath. Besides, from what he had picked up telepathically, the Dominion would assist her until he arrived. He needed to get the Seal first. As he inched closer to the home where Mina permanently resided, he could hear her voice filling the atmosphere with a soft melody. He could sense her anxiety and her worry for their daughter and he couldn’t blame her. He had done a piss poor job of raising her. In his grief over Mina’s demise, he had been less than nurturing or caring towards Sin’s emotional wellbeing. It was a wonder that she still developed into a semi reasonable person without the personality of a psychopath. The only thing he really taught her is how to survive, which may be the only thing that gets her through this.

He tried not to focus on the flooding memories of his time with Mina when she was alive, otherwise he would forget his purpose and remind Mina of the very special bond that they shared. He would return to her when all of this was over, and rededicate himself to her and maybe if he could prove that what they shared transcended the physical, she would be granted a second chance…stranger things have happened and even entities such as himself required a little bit of hope just to get through each day.

She must have sensed him coming because she came outside looking every bit as lovely as she always did. She wore a white, fitted robe with her hair swept up high above her head and her hazel eyes gazing at him expectantly. He hurried over to her, and without a word, took her into his arms for a long embrace. She was the first to let go and when she took a step back from him, his heart sank.

“What is going on Grim? Why would Sin send me your Scythe and a box with the Seal of the Apocalypse? And where have you been? I could sense your thoughts and when you didn’t manifest-“

“A lot has taken place my love, and I am afraid time does not allow me room to explain,” he replied sadly.

“Grim I have watched from afar in this beautiful haven of a prison as our daughter suffered at the hands of your duties as the Grim Reaper and because of your wishes I sat idly by and watched her struggle to live up to your legacy and-“

“Mina, I did what I thought was best. She could not be raised in the human world because she is too different. At some point when her powers started to develop the humans would have either worshiped her or killed her or she would have killed somebody. I know I haven’t always been the best parent, but Hell is no place for the weak. I cannot be in several places at once and my warriors, along with the rest of the terrors that take place would have eaten her alive!”

“Grim-“

“And I could not allow her to see you much because it hurt her when she did…a part of her hates me for what happened to you.”

Mina’s eyes filled with tears at the memory of what took place. Just hours after giving birth to Sin, a demon posed as a nurse injected her with a toxin that human doctors had yet to identify, and before Grim could do anything to save her, she died with Sin still in her arms. Grim found out the moment he sensed her death and instead of allowing her to be taken by his men to be tortured for an eternity for simply loving him, he brought her to this safe haven where she has remained ever since.

She gently touched his face, and he relished the calming sensation of her touch. She had always been good at that: calming his inner storm.

“Grim…the Seal is next to the Scythe in the master bedroom of the house. When all of this is over, come see me and we shall talk then. And bring Sin too…I need to see her…”

Grim gently placed a kiss in the center of her palm and then once more on her lips before he dematerialized into the house and retrieved his Scythe and the Seal. He tucked the Seal underneath his arm, and turned around to see Mina standing in the doorway looking at him adoringly. Throughout everything, she still loved him and that was the strength he needed to survive.

“I will return to you Mina with Sin. Stay here.”

“Where else am I going to go?” Mina chuckled.

“Right. And one more thing…”

“What is that Grim?”

“I love you Mina…”

“I love you too Grim. Now go save our daughter.”

Grim nodded and then disappeared, leaving Mina alone a world that belonged to only her and Grim. She took a seat on the bed Grim had built with his bare hands from the finest of Oak wood, with cushions stuffed with the finest of goose down and blanketed with the softest of silk, and wept.

******Coming September 1, 2015

Sin: Daughter of the Grim Reaper (Excerpt)

Sin: Daughter of the Grim Reaper (Excerpt)

Chapter 4

I awake to the familiar smells and sounds of sulfur erupting from the gaseous pits of home sweet home: Hell. I force my eyes to open and there standing beside me in dazzling white robing is the messenger angel Gabriel. Like the rest of his brethren he is surrounded by a blinding gold light, and he extends a glowing hand to help me to my feet. He lifts me with no effort on his part, and once I am steady on my feet, he gazes at me with hopeful eyes. I find his stare to be unnerving, his colorless eyes examining me with a quiet uncertainty.

“Your father has been removed from his duties,” he said sadly. I look at him, the memory of my father’s final words turning my stomach into a tangle of knots.

“Forever?” I ask hoping that there is still some time left for me to find the seal.

His gaze remains focused on mine. “No. Until the seal is found he will remain under heavy guard…but if the seal is not returned in time before it is broken, then…he will be held responsible.”

“Where is he being detained?” I at least needed to know that he was…ok. For all of the misery and extreme punishments he has subjected me to one would think that I would be kicking my heels with joy. And, to a certain extent a part of me did feel slightly vindicated that he may receive a taste of his own brutal medicine, but at the end of the day he was still my father…and he trusted me.

“I cannot reveal that information to you for reasons I am sure you would understand.”

“So why are you here?” Without thinking I summon my father’s Scythe into my possession. Gabriel looks at me alarmed by my sudden offensive act.

“I ask that you do not react in such haste; such actions could further instigate harsher consequences for both you and your father.”

“I have no intentions on threatening you Gabriel,” I say softly. “I just want to know why you are down in the more…baser levels.”

Gabriel studies me once more, his expression changing from alarmed to thoughtful. “You are more like your father than you know,” he says finally after a brief pause. “No one foresaw that he would transfer his powers unto you, a half mortal. But now that he has done it, there are a few things you should know.”

“I’m listening,” I say shifting my weight onto my right foot where I could lean onto the Scythe for support.

“You are to only claim the humans without the mark, and your powers are not meant for you to act on revenge. To do otherwise would result in a punishment worse than what your father may experience. You are the gatekeeper of the afterlife: humans that are allowed entrance into the Heavens will be escorted by one of my brothers. You are never to intervene. Humans that are not allowed entry will be escorted by you to the lower realms where…the fallen will claim ownership….”

He continues on in a speech about what I can and cannot do for what seems like an eternity. Most of the stuff I already knew courtesy of Grim, some of it would take a few practice lessons for me to get it. But what I do not think Gabriel understands is that my new promotion is temporary. I am finding that seal and proving my father’s innocence.

“And last but not least,” He says turning to leave from whatever path he took to get here. “I do not believe your father had something to do with the seal’s disappearance. I believe that my brothers are guided only by their reverence for human life that they see him for what he is not. Grim may be a lot of things that oppose what most of us are designed to do, but ambition is not his motivation. He is nothing like the unnamed one and it saddens me that he is being blamed for such an atrocity.”

“I will find that seal and the human responsible for it,” I declare, now more determined than ever.

“I know you will. That is why I came down to speak to you. But I must leave you be Sin of Sin. Send for me and I shall assist you in any manner that I can…” And with that, he disappeared into a ball of light and was gone.

So even the angels are divided, I think to myself still staring in the direction where the angel had stood. It was then that I realized my father had given me his powers to better aid me in my quest and not so much to prevent a cosmic meltdown. As the Angel of Death, I am now more connected to humanity than ever. I gaze down at my hands, stretching out my palms and I could sense the very vibrations of life right underneath my fingertips. In my mind’s eye I witness human after human whose lives were on the brink of coming to an end ranging from the last few moments of breath after months of battling a terminal illness; the moment their heads make impact through the windshield in a fatal collision; the brush of fear as the really unlucky humans fall victim to a murderous predator and their cries are blotted out by a gun, or a knife, or the overpowering grip of a pair of hands wrapped around their throats choking the life out of them.

So this is why dear old dad is always so damn cranky.

I extend my left arm, summoning the legendary Scythe into my grip. Thank goodness wearing that black hooded robe is not a requirement because I still remain in the leather outfit I purchased. I made a mental note to take Grim shopping as soon as this mess was resolved. He needed a different look, other than his current dreadful appearance. I take one last look at my surroundings. Hellfire, brimstone, lava pits, demons materializing from the physical world in search of a soul to torment; fallen angels lurking about, perhaps on their way to meet with their boss…speaking of boss, now that I am the Angel of Death where are my underlings? Father had a legion of soldiers at his beck and call and here I stand in the middle of Hell alone…. Shouldn’t there have been some sort of ceremony to recognize my promotion? Strange…very strange.

Father mentioned something about being some sort of conspiracy against him, and in Hell, there is always a conspiracy for a power grab. Coups are performed on an almost constant basis, alliances are always formed and agreements made. Everyone down here works for someone, with the exception of my father. He is a sort of free agent, and now that I think of it, that makes him more of a threat than anyone. Someone down here has conspired to remove Grim permanently from his position and used a human to see it through. The question is who? There are millions of demons and most of them work for the Beast. Furthermore, they do not act unless told and I doubt that the Beast has any real interest in destroying Grim considering the fact that he has a war to plan and Grim’s purpose is more beneficial to his cause than not. So that must mean it had to be one or some of Grim’s own soldiers who were responsible.

First things first: find the human. I could terrorize the entire realm and would still find myself unsuccessful. And then I have an idea. Using the Scythe, I send out a telepathic call to every last one of my father’s soldiers to my presence. Instinctively I knew that the one or ones responsible would not make an appearance. They would be somewhere in the earth realm hiding until the time came for the seal to be broken, when my father would meet his end. The caverns vibrated a deep rumbling, creating deep splinters in its wake. Sounds of souls being tormented escalated to a deafening level; cries begging for the Almighty to come and set them free of their eternal torture. Within seconds the first few hundred of my father’s soldiers, now fully under my command are standing in front of me. Some of them sported the black winged/dark angel appearance, while others resembled gargoyles with their clawed hands and feet, stony expressions and grey scaly skin and wings like that of a bat instead of a bird. In just a few minutes I had almost an entire legion standing before me, ready for my command.

All of them stared at me in surprise, and as I mentally counted present heads, I noticed that a good fifty or so were absent-and those that were absent had been my father’s best men. As a matter of fact, those that were missing had accompanied me on several recon missions…just as I thought. They stared at me with curiosity, desperate for answers. As I surveyed these entities, I sensed the vibration of jealousy coming from a few of them, and I knew that if I did not establish myself now as the Angel of Death, I would have to deal with a possible mutiny, and Grim was no longer available for me to run to for obedience issues. I take a deep cleansing breath before speaking.

“As you all may know, Grim has been temporarily removed from his position,” I begin slowly, making eye contact with every one of the warriors that stood in front of me. “For now I will resume as the Angel of Death, fulfilling my father’s duties which is why I felt the need to call this impromptu meeting.” I wait for a response, and when there is none I continue. “Someone or, someones have stolen the Seal of the Apocalypse and somehow my father is being held responsible. When I discover just who the culprits are,” I say, my eyes blazing with rage so dark my unnaturally emerald green eyes turned completely black. “…not only will I skin them alive personally, they will die a second death. Most of you know that I survived the Abaddon Pits, and inside those pits lay a creature that has yet to be unleased onto the earth for a reason. His name is the Devourer and not only does he eat your physical body…he eats your soul. And one more thing,” I add staring beyond the legions and into the deeper pits that made Hell what it was. “I know that this may come as a shock to a lot of you. Some of you even feel that I am not qualified to assume such a prestigious position considering that I am or was half mortal. And I know that some of you feel slighted by Grim after eons of unquestionable allegiance…yet here I stand being given all of the powers of darkness at my disposal… Here is what I present to you: either you stand with me as you had my father or you stand against me and betray my father. You could try to form an alliance with the Unnamed One, but we all know how that goes…betray my father and you die, plain and simple. Have I made myself clear?”

*******Coming Soon***

Bad Ass Chicks Blog 2: Ruby Iyer

Ok so we are into the second week of the Bad Ass Chicks blog series and the author I am about to introduce has one kick ass character: Ruby Iyer, created by the award winning author Laxmi Hariharan. Set in the city of Bombay, Ruby is thrust into a fate of survival in this young adult action thriller. Check out the synopsis below:

” A girl desperate to rescue her best friend. A cop willing to do anything to save the city he serves. A delusional doctor bent on annihilation. A terrifying encounter propels Ruby Iyer from her everyday commute into a battle for her own survival. Trusting her instincts, she fights for what she believes in, led on a mysterious path between life and death on the crowded roads of Bombay; and when her best friend is kidnapped by the despotic Dr Braganza, she will do anything to rescue him. Anything, including taking the help of the sexy Vikram Roy, a cop-turned-rogue, on a mission to save Bombay. The city needs all the help it can get, and these two are the only thing standing between its total destruction by Dr. Braganza’s teen army. As Bombay falls apart, will Ruby be able to save her friend and the city? Will she finally discover her place in a city where she has never managed to fit in? And what about her growing feelings for Vikram?”

Laxmi gives us readers more of Ruby Iyer in a two book series beginning with TheRuby Iyer Diaries, The Many Lives of Ruby Iyers. Laxmi is also the author of The Destiny of Shaitan: An Epic Fantasy Series (Bombay Chronicles Book 1).

Thank you so much Laxmi for including Ruby Iyer in the Bad Ass Chicks series. Any young woman whose world is dependent on her skill level, and willingness to stop whatever evil that comes her way is definitely a Bad Ass Chick. I wish you the best of luck in your continued success in your literary endeavors. For those of you who interested in picking up your own copy click on the links below and show Ms. Laxmi Hariharan some book love.

The Ruby Iyer Diaries:

http://www.amazon.com/Ruby-Iyer-Diaries-Coming-Novelette-ebook/dp/B00MXSLQFU/ref=la_B007M6E542_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1436384896&sr=1-1

The Many Lives of Ruby Iyer: A Bombay Story

http://www.amazon.com/Many-Lives-Ruby-Iyer-Bombay/dp/1502773775/ref=la_B007M6E542_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1436384896&sr=1-2

The Destiny of Shaitan: An Epic Fantasy Series

http://www.amazon.com/Destiny-Shaitan-Fantasy-Bombay-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B007M2IBH8/ref=la_B007M6E542_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1436384896&sr=1-3

***Stay tuned for next week’s Bad Ass Chicks blog feature***

Bad Ass Chicks Exclusive Interview: Niko

With Kayti Nika Raet’s third book in the Outsider Chronicles now available for us readers to enjoy, Niko was gracious enough to take some time out from hunting Slithers to give us a little more insight on who she is. Niko is incredibly busy, and just getting her to sit down and take a breather was a bit difficult for both of us due to her having to save her world and all, but I am extremely grateful to her for sitting down with me. Check out the interview below and then go get your copy of Monster today.

What is it like having to step up and fulfill that parental role for your younger siblings?

It was tough at first, especially since Shawn was so young. I made a lot of mistakes, but I tried my best to keep everyone safe and happy.

What motivates you to keep going?

My brother Jared and the hope that if I do everything right, maybe, by the end of it all, everyone I care about will still be with me.

If I happen to run across a Slither what would increase my chances of survival?

Nothing. Unless you were born with the ability, unless you’re strong enough, and fast enough to beat them, there’s nothing you can do but hide and hope they don’t find you.

Do you think your world would ever change?

I hope it can. But I don’t think so.

If you could go back in time, what would be the one thing you would change?

Shawn would still be alive…But sometimes I wonder if that would mean that everything that has changed since his death would remain the same, if the Grey-men would still be oppressed, if the cities would still have their hold over Outsiders. If certain people would still be here.

What is the one thing readers haven’t figured out about you yet?

That’s a hard question.

I’m pretty straight forward. What I let you see is what you get. People who open themselves up get hurt, and I’ve been  hurt enough.

What can we expect in your next book?

Everything starts to come together. Some people get what they deserve, some people don’t. There’s an ending but I’m not sure if it wiil be a happy one.

Thank you once again Niko for stopping by and giving us a little more insight on who you are. You are truly one BAD ASS CHICK and I wish you the best of luck in- wait a minute. What the hell is that? *sees something moving behind my desk* Is that a Slither?

Sorry you guys, but uh, I need to get the hell out of here before I end up on the menu. Niko and her bat has left the building and oh hell no…!

*Stay tuned on Wednesday for the next character in the Bad Ass Chicks series (if I survive). Click on the link below for more on Niko and her creator Kayti Nika Raet*

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http://kaytinikaraet.com/the-outsider-chronicles/

Other links:

Website: kaytinikaraet.com
Blog: writebitches.wordpress.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kaytinikaraetbooks
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KNRwrites
Pinterest: pinterest.com/kaytinikaraet/
Amazon Author Page: 
http://amzn.to/1fb2cR7
Smashwords: 
http://bit.ly/1IDVehs
Book Links:
Niko: 
http://amzn.to/1u5sFAe
Harm: http://amzn.to/1s9Nbz0
Outsider:  
http://amzn.to/1w3tP3H
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1uWYEpr