Halloween – Real World Paranormal for One Magical Night!
Magic, rampant expectation, candy and parties…what’s not to love? These are all the things I associate with Halloween. Like Halloween, paranormal fiction carries the thrill and delight of discovering new worlds to enjoy and conquer. And just like the holiday, the dark, decadent atmosphere speaks to me in a very good way.
All fiction is escapism. But there’s an extra level of diversion in magical fiction. Challenges abound and danger menaces. But unlike traditional thrillers, paranormal stories allow unique ways to deal with danger and evil. Human laws don’t have a stranglehold on the characters’ reactions. Human frailty doesn’t limit. Real world properties can’t restrain.
Everything is possible and anything goes.
As a reader, you need only open your mind and grab the nearest stationary object, because the world is about to get a little rocky. But no worries. You’re in a safe zone, wrapped in the protected, nurturing embrace of your favorite Paranormal author. With a ringside seat for all the fun and excitement.
Life is beautiful!
Not so much for Halloween, I fear. There is that thinning between the worlds thing that happens. Ghosts and reapers, vampires and ghouls. Yikes! Everybody knows what happens when the demons come out to play, right? Just be careful out there, because I won’t be there to save you with a few timely keystrokes. There will be nothing standing between you and those pesky monsters! Bleurgh! I’d wear your running shoes. Just in case.
What do a time traveling witch and a Sorceri bounty hunter have in common? Not a damn thing! Well…except for some sizzling hot love mojo!
The Epoch Mages and the Sorceri Bounty Hunters are ALWAYS on opposite sides of any issue. They H-A-T-E each other. But when a rogue witch decides to take over the world using flesh-eating zombies, Ardith and Draigh have to work together to stop her. And though they’ve twisted themselves inside out trying to deny their blistering desire for each other, they soon learn they’ll need to work together to accomplish what many before them have failed to do. Yep, it’s all gonna be downhill from there!
Just before the passageway ended, an open archway led them off into another corridor. The place was silent, seemingly empty. Archaic sconces on the wall gave off black smoke and a low, flickering light.
“This must lead somewhere,” Ardith whispered.
Draigh nodded, pulling his knives. “Smell that?”
Ardith sighed. “Zombies. Damn! I guess this is gonna be a three-shower day.”
Draigh snorted. “Next time you’re showering in your own bathroom.”
She stuck her tongue out at his back, feeling better for the childish but satisfying response.
Ardith… She spun at the sound. It had been like a breath of wind, soughing past. The passageway behind them was empty.
Draigh… Another wisp of air had Draigh slicing sideways with his knife.
They remained alone.
A deep sense of foreboding filled Draigh’s breast. “Do you feel that?”
“Repelling spell. I’m sure it’s Edwige’s handiwork.”
“A damn fine one too. I’m seriously fighting the urge to run screaming from the place.”
Ardith snorted. “Pansy.”
He turned and looked at her, lifting an eyebrow in response.
She was saved from having to defend herself when a gust of grave-scented wind swept past, extinguishing the sconces.
They moved into battle formation, back-to-back, and waited. Draigh had never seen such complete darkness. He strained his ears, flaring his nostrils to compensate for being blind.
Draigh… His knife hand shot toward the faint whisper and sliced only air. Something scuffed on the other side and he slammed a fist in that direction. Nothing.
A putrid breeze blew Ardith’s silky hair across his shoulder and he barely stayed himself from shoving her to the ground.
Ardith. The disembodied voice flowed past them, physically insubstantial but emotionally devastating.
The witch trembled against his back. Though they’d begun a yard apart, circling to face whatever came for them, they’d somehow gotten so close together that they were in each other’s way when they tried to move.
His own hands were damp. He found himself continually wiping them across his shirt so his knives didn’t slip from his grasp.
The breeze strengthened, swirled, sending sound and scent whirling past at such a rate he could no longer tell what came from which direction.
Welcome. The phantom voice strengthened, no longer a whisper. But Draigh doubted it was meant as a summons.
Wel-come. The voice repeated in an amused tone. The disembodied voice was growing more insistent as they continued on down the passageway, stepping carefully sideways so they could stay back-to-back for protection. They stumbled repeatedly as the darkness and the swirling air turned their sense of direction on its head.
“I don’t like this greeting ritual,” Ardith croaked.
“Nor do I, witch. Just stay close.”
“Buddy, if I was any closer you’d be wearing me for a suit.”
Despite his discomfort, Draigh couldn’t help smiling at the thought. “Remind me to take you up on that later.”
Her snort told him she was holding on to her nerve. If only barely.
“I wish we could see where the hell we were going.”
Draigh swore. He’d been so wrapped up in the situation that he hadn’t been thinking. He opened his hand, calling forth the guide. The guide was comprised of the magic inherent in the air around them. It was a hunter’s magic to call. From the highest reaches of the passageway, even from the rock surrounding them, tiny blue sparks disengaged and danced in his direction, spinning into a solid cylinder of light that rested on his hand.
Once engaged, the guide cast a soft glow around Draigh and Ardith, a slight thickening in its depths telling Draigh the rogue witch wasn’t all that far ahead of them in the passageway.
He sucked in a relieved breath and stopped, his heart quickening.
“That’s bett—” Ardith’s words died on her lips as the light flickered, spread and illuminated the most terrifying sight Draigh had ever seen.
A sea of dead eyes, sloughing flesh and ooze surrounded them.
Silent, waiting, deadly.
As far as the eye could see.
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USA Today Bestselling Author Sam Cheever writes romantic paranormal/fantasy and mystery/suspense, creating stories that celebrate the joy of love in all its forms. Known for writing great characters, snappy dialogue, and unique and exhilarating stories, Sam is the award-winning author of 50+ books and has been writing for over a decade under several noms de plume.
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