Enter Middle Earth (Destiny)…you won’t want to leave.
Ages ago a pact was made between all the supernatural species – shifters, djinn, dragons, vampires and fae – to protect humans. Just don’t tell the humans…
Tempe Pomeroy is a mail carrier and Tempestaerie though she’s been denying her storm powers for most of her life. Now her quickening in upon her and strange things are starting to happen in Destiny.
Former Navy pilot Jack Lang took the job as Sheriff of Destiny because he thought it was a quaint, safe, normal small town to raise his teenage daughter, like Mayberry.
Turns out Destiny is not Mayberry. Seriously, it’s more like Middle Earth.
I’m Sheriff Jack Lang. After an exciting career as a Navy pilot, Destiny seemed like the perfect place to settle down – safe, sane and secure. But that ship sailed when I met Tempest Pomeroy – sexy redheaded mail lady and trouble magnet. Tempe never fails to test the limits of my patience or the law. Every time I think it’s the last straw, up pops another haystack.
My name is Tempest Pomeroy, and my human job is delivering the mail. I’m also a Paramortal like my family, or I’m supposed to be. If I didn’t have a few little talents, I’d think I was adopted. To say I was having a bad day would be like saying Katrina dropped a little rain on New Orleans. My brother’s genie bottle is missing, my mother’s AWOL, and the sheriff and my ex-lover are squaring off like yard dogs staking a claim over a poodle. I am no one’s poodle. I’ve denied my heritage for most of my life but all this chaos is a sign of my quickening Tempestaerie power.
Oh, and the sheriff? He thinks he’s settled in a normal, quaint small town—like Mayberry?! We’ll see how that turns out… Things better settle down soon, ‘cause I’m about to go…Storm Crazy.
I heard a quiet click of metal behind me, spun around and swallowed a startled gasp. I was staring into the barrel of a mean looking gun, and at the other end of that rigid grip was an even meaner looking Jack Lang, the one I hadn’t met until now, a cold-as-ice predator. His knuckles were white but his arm was steady as a granite mountain.
“Where’s…my…daughter?” he growled. One eye actually twitched as silver eyes whitened into pure frost. If he was trying to scare me, he’d succeeded.
A sound rumbled up from his chest like that of an animal. “What have you done with Jordie?”
Recognition came in a flash. I smacked my hand against my forehead. “I knew I recognized her.”
His eyes seemed to take on an angular appearance, brows winging up, but the gun never wavered. “Woman, you’d better start talking or you’re not going to like my next move.”
Not an animal—a papa-bear.
He gave a snarl of pain and grabbed me. “What do you mean you’re sorry?”
“I mean…” I squirmed in his bruising grip… ”I’m sorry I didn’t put it together.”
He roared, “What the hell are you talking about? Where is Jor—”
“She’s at your parents’.” It finally dawned on me; he thought I’d kidnapped his daughter. Zeus’ newborn godling!
“You’re lying. I was just there.” He recoiled when I put my hand on his arm, but thankfully, he was professional enough not to pull the trigger. My guess: he was probably tempted.
“Call her,” I suggested.
He pointed his finger at me and said, “You. Don’t. Move.”
This time, I obeyed.
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Cry Me a River
Isn’t it just like a man to exit a relationship when he finds out a woman has a few little secrets?
The last time I saw Sheriff Lang, he got his first glimpse of my Paramortal “talents” – a few measly bolts of lightning aimed … in his general direction. He’s finally on board with our search for my brother but time is running out. In the course of the investigation we’ve gone from attraction to suspicion, support to friendship, romance to oh-my-god-get-away-from-me revulsion.
Jack’s an ex-Navy pilot. He says he wants to know “everything”. But after we answer his questions, he’ll probably grab his daughter and take the first jet out of Middle Earth.Oh, he may stick around, help me save my brother and discover the whereabouts of my parents, but I doubt he’ll still want to take me to the Mardi Gras ball, once he knows “everything”. There’s a lot of everything…
“What’s a Tempest fairy?” I asked her finally.
“Tempestaerie,” she corrected. “A major Tempestaerie can control the elements, air and water, though they will have some influence over fire and earth. Thus—my rain and lightning bolts, such as they are. Minor Tempestaeries like Paige have no significant talent.”
“Is that an honest assessment or just two kittens fighting over the milk?” I asked.
“Tempe’s understating her potential, Jack.” Dylan said, “In the past they’ve been known to call down asteroids.”
That got my attention.
Tempe shrugged. “It’s not all catastrophic drama though. A storm faerie, as we’ve been called, can turn into anything associated with weather.” She was quiet for a minute then her gaze met mine, her voice turned soft, sad. “I just remembered—when I was in my first week at school I think, it had been raining for days—the principal’s assistant came to my teacher and handed her a pair of black boots. There was a note in them from my mother. It said, “So your little feet will be dry and I can keep my girl close.” Her eyebrows dipped as tears flooded her eyes. “She’d turned into a pair of boots, and I walked around with her on my feet all day… long.”
Aurora said, “It was all Phoebe could get away with—”
A few splats of water were the only warning we had before a gentle rain began to fall on every surface of Aurora’s workroom. “Oh, dear. It’s getting quite unpredictable,” Aurora said as she wiped the rain from her eyes.
Dylan seemed to be out of patience. He rose advancing on me, staring me down with just a hint of grizzly-face. I rose standing toe to toe while the anger in his eyes sparked. I suspected it was directed mostly at himself. He cared for Tempe and the people here. I respected that. “You in or out, Lang?”
I knew my answer but I had a statement to make as well. “Show me your other—what did you call it, your Para—” The air bubbled around Dylan making it hard to discern any of his features, then the dressed in black, dark and deadly man standing eye to eye with me blurred once again into an eight-foot shaggy Sasquatch. His huge paws hung at his side, level with my shoulders.
I studied his furry-face, the slavering mouth, the intelligent black eyes. “Turn around,” I ordered.
The creature’s head tilted as if to say, Really? but turned as I reached out and tugged on his fur. A sound like a growl escaped and an image from the previous week resurfaced. “I saw you on Grand Pied Boulevard the morning after… damn,” I shook my head. “Grand Pied. French, for big foot—”
A bark escaped the massive jaws and the Finrir’s eyes glinted with laughter.
The air shifted as Dylan turned back, and I was face to face with the man again.
“So, you’re in.” Dylan’s voice sounded deeper, as if his vocal chords hadn’t quite made it from growl mode to human. Scratch that, not human.
“It’s a lot to take in…”
“And no time to play catch up,” said Dylan.
Tempe had stiffened, but visibly relaxed when I asked, “Where do we go from here?”
“We find River and take care of whoever is responsible.”
“Who do you think killed the Nucklevay?”
Dylan corrected, “Nucklavee. I’m not sure. Paige and her partners, Phoebe’s protectors, some other entity—human even—though not likely.”
“A human, go figure,” I muttered. I’d come a long way in two weeks… Light years.
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Eve of Chaos
“You vill meet a dahk dangerrous sttrrangah…” Aurora predicted at the Mardi Gras ball, and as if someone left their Swords of War video game on “share” in a parallel universe, he walked in. Conor de Sept Flambe´— the Dark Knight they’d dubbed him—with his dark gleaming muscles, the distinctive leathery tattoos across his shoulders, armored boots and magnificent flashing swords.
“Where did he get those swords?” Montana asked, drooling. She’d been unable to force her eyes away from him all evening. Then he’d walked across the ballroom floor, parting the crowd like Moses through the Red Sea, and asked her to dance. Turns out, he’s quite the music lover. He said he wanted to show her some of his moves. Right! Her Dinnshencha warrior wasn’t born yesterday… There’s more to this Knight than meets the eye, and he’s quite an eyeful. Recognizing her diminishing strength, he offers to prepare her for the Chaos, twenty-four hours when many Paramortals would lose their power.
Sheriff Jack Lang knows something’s afoot with Conor’s appearance in Destiny. Crazies are coming out of the woodwork, Paramortals are losing their abilities, and dispositions going AWOL, Jack wants to know who will be left standing beside him when the Para-moon begins. If Flambe´ is what Jack thinks he is, the good guys might have a chance. If not, they’ll be in deep… trouble. Where’s an F-18 when you need one?
The chatter around us quieted suddenly. Montana and Jack looked over my shoulder.
Montana hissed behind me, a sound I’d never heard from her. “Mother of all the gods! Who is that?”
We turned as the elder at the door called out, “Conor de Sept-Flambe, Knight of his Majesty’s realm.”
Jack stiffened and muttered, “Which Majesty?”
“What realm?” I wondered aloud.
“Where’d he get those damn swords?” breathed Montana behind me. Leave it to a warrior goddess to appreciate and hone in on the most obvious feature of the newcomer’s costume.
The—it seemed lacking somehow to call him a man though he appeared to be, but I could see why both of them had reacted to the stranger.
He wore a beautiful black and red mask, which was slightly reptilian in design, strapped around his shoulder length black hair. He was shirtless and radiated danger with intricate red and black tattoos that resembled bat wings across his shoulders and triceps. He didn’t need a costume t-shirt with abs painted on it. The ridges of his torso indicated strength and discipline. Matching leather strips banded his bulging biceps and matched the jagged hemmed samurai pants floating about his muscular calves.
“Looks like someone left their video game on too long,” said Jack.
The Knight Flambe did indeed look like he’d walked straight from the Martial Arts/Samurai Assassin video game into the Grand Ball. His boots were exquisitely tooled silver and bronze, with a belt of the same metals, which glimmered flat against his lower abdomen. When he turned to hand his invitation to the elder there was a collective murmur and Jack made a low guttural sound.
Two long deadly looking gold and silver swords crisscrossed his back and seemed to shoot fire with each movement down their jagged twisting length. As he listened to the announcement, the knight’s hands, girded at the wrist in pewter, bronze and gold to the elbows, fisted and relaxed, making the tendons flex from elbow to chest. Whew!
Montana stood like a statue of a Valkyrie, her hands clenching and unclenching, piercing cobalt eyes locked on the figure dressed in precious metals, leather and a lot of bronzed skin. Menori reacted restlessly to the dark knight.
So did Jack. It was as if they were meeting as equals on some arena of war—not as I’d described him and Dylan—like dogs fighting over their Poodle. This was something elemental, as if they knew each other at their core. It lasted mere seconds but it was as if time during those few seconds amplified, expanded to push away all other sounds and only those of us who saw, felt, and understood, well, I didn’t understand except to know that something of impetus had passed between them.
Party sounds filtered in again from the other room and the Knight Flambe’ took three deliberate steps off the platform, glancing toward Montana and away. His sharp predatory gaze met each attendee briefly, making each person acknowledge his presence, like he was studying them one by one and simultaneously erasing himself from their minds. I shook my head. We’d had our share of supernaturals, but this powerful looking ‘soldier’, a sexy sword-wielding samurai warrior… it was a first.
The newcomer bowed and walked deliberately through the crowd, which parted like the Red Sea for the Israelites, to give him and his swords an unencumbered path to the bar. Montana devoured him with her eyes. She had not moved since he walked in the door. Interesting.
“Reckon that’s a costume? Or is he some kind of knight in shining armor?” I asked.
Jack said, “He doesn’t seem the type.”
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Blame It on the Moon
It’s the height of the Para-moon and Jack is up to his ‘six’ in alligators. Defending those weaker than himself is in his DNA which is what made him become a Navy pilot. But who is he kidding? Alligators he could handle! Supernatural bad guys… and ragtag doesn’t begin to describe his band of temporary ’heroes’. If he had to go to war with the troup that showed up at dawn, he might as well start cutting up white sheets and attaching them to garden stakes.
There’s little time to worry about his future with Tempe as one crisis after another raises its head. He must find a healer for Dylan, relocate a lost elemental, make a formal request for help from the Fae, figure out what the hell his crazy ex Georgeanne is up to, and – very important – keep the humans in the dark. If worse comes to worse, he has a dragon on his side and a few surprises up his sleeve, “Yippe, ki, yi…”
But a lot can happen in twenty-four hours and things… don’t always go as planned.
What? I can be humble…
“Um, I know you’d prefer to eat me more than listen to me, or divide me up with the clan…”
Petre growled, “I don’t share…”
I heard Conor swords slip out of their sheaths. Petre’s posture relaxed slightly. I said, “I was asked to inform you of the Chaos and beg your assistance.” Petre’s eyes flared and the view of his teeth became more prominent as he gave what I assumed – that comment seemed to give him particular pleasure.
And if birds could be said to roll their eyes, I would swear that’s what Petre’s Queen had aimed in his direction. Then Petre said, “Kneel, vampire.”
It wasn’t my imagination. The crowd of nasty looking fairies thought this conversation was the appetizer to the main course. My snide comment about the shakedown earlier might come back to bite me—literally. I’d have to be more careful in the future and more aware of species customs—if I made it past the next sixty-seconds. A tiny voice in my head, I’d like to think that was Arabella as well, said I’d been getting my way for too long.
“Uhnn…your highness, I’m sorry about my earlier insensitive comment. We could really—”
Petre shook his head no and drool escaped the toothy grins of some of the fae’s lips. He extended a hand that looked like a giant spider with its disjointed digits and large knuckles, and pointed the longest of four fingers at the floor.
I groaned inwardly and looked at Conor, who simply leaned on his giant sword and shrugged. I could almost hear him thinking, “Needs must”. Yeah, yeah.
Okay, what’s a little humble pie if it keeps you from being torn apart by a bunch of crazed fae? Watch them carefully, I knelt on the stone floor feeling the thrum of energy vibrating through the floor in pulsing waves.
“Can we talk now?” I asked Petre, beginning to get concerned.
He studied me briefly then satisfied, asked,”What were the exact words the Tempestaerie used?”
I repeated Phoebe’s message verbatim. “Vazar Aquilei vel Aq-ligea meile.” It was the old Paramortal language, to paraphrase it meant, Fae, get your asses over here and defend your Paramortal brothers. I waited for a signal from the fae King that my message has been accepted.
Subtle changes took place on his features and in the room’s atmosphere. It wouldn’t have been noticeable to most beings but I felt the shift from pure antagonism to something more positive. Petre said in his even, kingly voice,”Rise, Bratislava.”
Surprised that he knew my real name I looked at him. He was once again beautiful and if not cheerful, at least he looked hospitable, like he could skip the vampire au gratin.
Arabella appeared at my side in her fairy queen body. I wondered if Conor was affected by the Queen’s beauty or their glamour but when I looked his way, he remained impassive. He was really good.
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Take These Broken Wings
Strap in! ‘cause it’s a wild ride through Destiny, or should I say Middle Earth…
Five months ago, Sheriff Jack Lang would have sworn there were no such things as vampires, tempestaeries, djinn or dragons. That was before he met Tempest Pomeroy, his sexy redheaded mail lady and… trouble magnet. He’d fallen for her before he found out about her “special abilities”. But that wasn’t what turned his life upside down.
No, to say Jack’s world had gone FUBAR was like saying Wolverine’s fingernails were long enough for a manicure.
Tempe had been afraid her supernatural nature would be a problem for Jack, who’d mistaken Destiny for a “normal” safe small town, but that didn’t explain why he’d left her in favor of haunting the highest levees in the parish. She knew he’d received a shock, but what was it going to take to get him to return to his life – and to her? A stubborn man is one thing; a grumpy, depressed twenty-ton dragon is a bit more of a challenge…
The long cry intensified as it grew closer. Then a bright silver streak whizzed by me, the reason for the sound now apparent.
I watched my boyfriend, a silver dragon, run toward the top of the levee at full speed—it was more like a clumsy lope—and leap, sun sparkling like diamonds from his crystalline scales before he disappeared from sight. The sound cutoff abruptly and was followed by a huge splash. Zeus’ missing molars!
I made it to the crown of the levee just in time to watch Jack plummet, wings flapping furiously—to no avail—into the river below. “Below” wasn’t that far and “river” was too generous a word for the swampy backwater where he now sat, covered in duck weed and gumbo looking like a dejected dragon on a Saturday morning TV show. And tired. Poor baby.
His handsome dragon face turned up at me, beautiful silver green eyes revealing more than a little distress. I’d thought he could shift, but he hadn’t. Instead he pushed up out of the muck, his enormous backside making a loud wet swhuuuck as the gumbo released its hold.
I stood out of the line of fire while he gave a mighty shake and great globs of slimy mud flew in all directions, leaving his scales sparkling and shiny once again. At least he was getting a grasp of some aspects of his change, or it was instinct. His powerful hind legs lifted from the swampy water and one step at a time he walked toward me, then hopped up onto the bank. The ground quaked. I widened my stance to keep from falling over. From my position on the levee I was nearly eye level with him.
“No luck, huh?” I asked.
He opened his mouth to speak and remembered he wasn’t able to, yet. Our dragon friend, Conor, seemed to think speaking in his shifted form would come in time. Jack shook his crystal-bright head and rainbows bounced off the water.
“That sucks,” I said, shading my eyes. He glared at me and I shrugged. “Sorry, no pun intended.” He turned away.
A trudging dragon is a sorry sight. All of his frustration and uncertainty was apparent in the slump of his massive dragon shoulders, in the way his wings dropped to his sides, and in the ground-shaking thump of his feet. For a second I thought about having a t-shirt made for him with MY BUTT IS DRAGGIN’ emblazoned on the front. I’m really not that mean, just as frustrated as my man.
“Jack. Wait.” I ran down the levee after him as he plodded, a fatalistic air to his stride. Boom…thud, boom…thud.
Jack’s problem, the disappointment that was eating at him after the initial hope that had helped him come to terms with his dragonness, was that he couldn’t fly. He simply could not believe that a former Navy jet pilot-turned-dragon would not be a flying dragon. And obviously, it wasn’t for lack of trying.
I’d never forget the first time I saw him in his backyard under the moonlight looking alternately disconcerted and elated. He denied the elated part right off, because it simply wouldn’t do to admit that as much as he wanted to fly again, admitting to the desire to fly as a dragon would just not do. First, he had to admit he was a dragon. Maybe I could find him a dragons anonymous meeting. His problem is denial. Jack is old hands with the emotion.
I watched his steady progress toward the woods. He’d apparently given up for the day. The sun was rising and humans would be about. I wished he’d return to his job as sheriff of Destiny. That and his parental responsibilities would keep him grounded. Oh, Zeus, another pun.
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Blood Moon (One of 20 novels in the Moonlight Magic box set) preorder now for $0.99 Releases 10/31/17
Blood Moon by Livia Quinn Blurb:
There’s a new supe in Destiny. She sauntered into the Moat of Morpheus¾ a redheaded violet-eyed warrior carrying a giant head-splitter of a sword and wielding it with magic. Her name was Cinder. River felt an immediate attraction as well as a lifting of the despair that had been his only companion for months. But it was short lived.
She was there to kill a dragonhunter and she accused River of hiding the truth about him. Turns out, she was right. River had a secret and his own reasons for remaining quiet. If he couldn’t break free from the villain’s control, there would be devastating consequences for his family and ultimately, the other Paramortals.
After his sister and the dragon sheriff go missing, River and Cinder join forces. But history has a way of coming full circle and echoes from their past bring a shattering revelation about their Paramortal family and the dragonhunter’s true identity, a perspective neither of them could have anticipated. Can they forgive the past to overcome their common enemy or will the news tear their relationship and the Paramortals apart forever?
River was deathly sick of hanging out at bars, especially this one. He didn’t know if the depression and fatalism that had absorbed all his thoughts had started before he’d found out about the enthrallment, or if they were a product of the company he was keeping, miscreants, killers, thieves, variants, whose main goal was to destroy Paramortals. They had no compunctions about who they used or how. Case in point… his ‘brother’. He’d become numb to them, apathetic about their open hostility and uncaring about their jibes.
“He may be the son of the greatest Djinn, but look at him. He’s a wastrel,” said a dark fae. “We could take him.”
River had spent a small amount of energy to beat back their rhetoric though he hadn’t much cared. What was wrong with him? He remembered enough to know hewas different.
Maybe his strange response to the sexy red dragon had temporarily awakened his sensibilities, and his moral compass. Yes, he’d felt it when she was close to him. Where was she? She could be trying again at this very moment to take Styx’ head.
He wished. At least, he knew he should and could wish for that very outcome. If it were that simple, it would be done. Over. Fini. But Djinn couldn’t grant their own wishes.
Something pressed again at the corner of his mind. The times he’d been close to her… it was almost as if her presence countered the emotional effects of the enthrallment. He’d felt bewitched by her that first time. He set his glass down. Maybe he could test his theory.
A harried voice from the other end of the bar drew River’s attention. “Eh, mate, ah need a cold one, and fast. Ma feet ‘er burnin’. The water is near boilin’ out ther’ and the sand ain’t much bettuh. It’s turned to glass in some places, eh?”
Two creatures scooted their chairs back and walked toward the exit, curious to see this phenomenon. River frowned. What could make water boil and sand turn to glass?
Dragon fire for one.
He passed the scruffy looking were, reptilian if his webbed feet were any indication, and strode quickly down the tunnel after the other two.
He sensed her presence on the Isle as soon as he exited the tunnel. Djinn radar was keen or… well, there was something special about her. Finding a small crowd gathered not a hundred yards from the Moat, he merely stood behind them, tall enough to watch the action over their heads. He wasn’t the only one mesmerized by the display she was putting on.
She was as bright as the sun, majestic, with her feet planted in the sand, her neck stretched out, creating a large circle of brilliant blue flame. Several short blasts were accompanied by her large claws kicking the sand. She aimed the next blast down the beach away from the crowd, obviously aware of her audience and taking care with them, but she was just as obviously in a snit.
He laughed. And everyone on the beach turned. Djinn were renowned for their thunderous voices and boisterous laughter going back to ancient times. It went with their gregarious personalities and strong connection to the elements. But this wasn’t something anyone had heard from River, ever. Dutch¾but never River. Some had begun to question if they were even related.
They weren’t the only ones paying attention. The red dragon had stopped mid breath and turned her haughty glare on him, which made him laugh even harder. Efrit, she was mad because he was interrupting her tantrum.
She lowered her head and lifted her powerful legs, planting one foot in front of the other as the crowd parted, watching, fascinated by the play in front of them, forgetting their fear and the heat. This was going to be entertaining.
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