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Shadow Love

Title: Shadow Love
Author: SF Benson writing as Nadirah Foxx
Genre: Paranormal Romance with Suspense Elements
Publisher: Fire Quill Publications/Erika Bester
Editor: Tia Silverthorne Bach
Publication Date: October 30th, 2018
Vampire fangs, vials of dragon’s blood, and tarot cards. Just a few of the oddities found at Vanpeer’s—a metaphysical gift shop found in the French Quarter. But when the owner, Twilight Vanpeer, uncrates an obsidian mirror she’s unprepared for the secrets it unlocks.
The sudden arrival of a tall handsome stranger, Dwade Marks, jostles Twilight’s life. Suddenly, she’s dealing with memories that make no sense. But bad dreams aren’t that serious when that’s all they are. Hers, unfortunately, contain an awareness that needs to stay hidden.
Adding to the weirdness is the fact Twilight is torn between two men—Dwade and her lifelong best friend, Preston Montgomery. One man is the key to her past while the other holds her future.
Things get out of hand quickly when someone starts killing women who look like Twilight. Both men are suspicious but only one can hold her heart.
Twilight has serious choices to make—own up to her past or bury it deep. One option appeases the gods while the other speaks to the shadow found in all of us.
Nadirah Foxx, the alter ego for SF Benson, has a fondness for dark, twisted romance featuring suspense and adventure. Her characters are flawed. But no matter what their obstacles or demons might be they always find a way around them.
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A low voice, almost a shallow whisper, calls to me and I move toward the mirror. I take one last glimpse at Preston as remorse moves through me. When I became aware, I had no intention of ever letting the shadows take over. Unfortunately, Tezcatlipoca forces the issue.
The voice gets louder as the darkness ebbs and flows, taking shape. The sinister shadow, black as night, steps out of its midst. It surrounds me like a death shroud.
“Come to me,” I say directly to its evil core.
Terrors from another time—one after another—fill my mind. I see the moment I made my request of the Lady of the Dead along with her fated words.
“A girl shall be born bearing your sigil. Find this body and regain your powers and knowledge. When Tezcatlipoca finds it, he will guide you. Only he can unite the soul and the body. But beware, Sin-Eater, he will learn your truth. When he does, your soul will return to Mictlán.”
The shadow slinks back toward the mirror but stops just before breaching the surface. A pair of glowing eyes land on me.
It’s time, Sin-Eater.
I inhale deeply, steadying myself. “Tezcatlipoca, something is wrong.”
His arm wraps around my waist, holding me in place. “It’s nothing to fear, Tlazolteotl. It’s just your memories returning.”
The shadow nods, and its eyes drift toward Tezcatlipoca. Pointing at the mirror, I exclaim, “No. This is worse than any memory I’ve ever had. See for yourself!”
He swears unintelligible words, and his head swings toward the black glass. When he does, smoky tendrils rise from the surface and wrap around him. The Aztec god isn’t strong enough to fight against the beast. Unfortunately, I’m forced to watch the scene playing within the smoking mirror.
Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca were always at war with each other. On that fated night, I created a special brew to intoxicate Quetzalcoatl. Tezcatlipoca had nefarious plans for his brother, but they were cruelly intercepted.
“My lord,” I said as I approached the bare-chested god.
“Drink this and be merry. For there is a young maiden waiting for you in your chambers.”
Quetzalcoatl, always eager for a night of sex, drank cup after cup of the enchanted elixir. When I was certain he was thoroughly intoxicated, I led him into his room.
He lowered his body onto the petlatl and allowed me to undress him.
The plan was for the god to mistakenly commit incest by sleeping with his sister. Tezcatlipoca had the unsuspecting girl drugged so that she would fall asleep in her brother’s chamber.

Maggie Series

MAGGIE series

Maggie, Naomi, and Entangled Souls

by Mya O’Malley

 

Genre: Paranormal Romantic Mystery Thriller

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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to share your home with an unearthly spirit who can’t find closure? Living on the edge of a cemetery with souls dating back to the 1700s would be enough to spook anyone, but Naomi finds it oddly romantic, and becomes inspired to write her next novel. Why not, when her muse, Maggie, calls to her from beyond her own window?

After all, the story couldn’t possibly be as complicated as Naomi’s own love life. Torn between Ryan, the mysterious and seemingly perfect man she just started dating, and Bryce, the sexy single dad who recently moved in next door, Naomi must navigate the tangled web of dating—all while trying to solve the mystery of Maggie’s death.

When things turn dangerous, Naomi quickly learns whom she can trust and, more importantly, whom she can’t. Will she be able to write Maggie’s story and finally give Maggie the peace she deserves?

Naomi sighed as she thought about the outcome of Maggie’s story. Her body had been found washed up near the river. Awful. What a horrible thing. The location of the body had been a place where people walked along a path by the river. Naomi herself had been close to the crime scene many times, unaware of the traumatic events that had taken place there.

No clues, other than it appeared to be a drowning. Evidence pointed to Maggie going out on a friend’s boat, perhaps, and falling overboard.

But how?

And where was the friend? It didn’t make sense. A piece of this puzzle was missing; a rather large piece.

A cold mystery was all that was left of Maggie’s story.

Come on, come on. Maggie. Talk to me. Tell me what happened to you. What kind of girl were you?

A sudden screech sounded from the window. Zelda. How was she supposed to concentrate on writing when Zelda kept intruding with her unpredictable behavior? She needed to write Maggie’s story. It was calling to her. If she didn’t write the story, she wouldn’t be able to write anything else.

Cries filled the air. This was ridiculous. Naomi wouldn’t even waste her time trying to figure out the cat’s problem. “You’re a piece of work, you know that?” Zelda cried out in response. Now the cat had broken her concentration.

Naomi needed to get out and clear her mind. She grabbed her notebook and her jacket from the hook in the entrance foyer.

Once she was out of the house and down the narrow path heading into the graveyard, she turned around. It wasn’t surprising to see Zelda pacing back and forth on the windowsill. Crazy.

After walking around for a few minutes, she was pulled toward Maggie’s grave once more.

“Maggie, tell me your story. I’m listening.” Naomi didn’t actually expect to hear a response, but she knelt down and listened. She strained to hear the slightest sound, anything at all that would open up this mystery.

Of course, she heard nothing.

Nothing but the faraway sound of cars passing down the one-way street adjacent to the cemetery, then the faint cry of a crow overhead. Lifting her head to the darkening sky above, Naomi could have sworn the crow was staring right at her. Was she in the middle of her own eerie dream? Brushing off the uneasy feeling, Naomi shook her head and sat in the grass.

“Was it your ex? Was it a stranger? Or was your death your own doing?” Naomi’s fingers touched the cold stone, running up and down the gravestone. A sharp crackling from behind caused Naomi to spin around. There was nobody there.

Naomi would have sworn she heard someone. Perhaps it had been a darting squirrel or other small animal. Her attention returned to Maggie’s grave once more. Call it a gut feeling, but Naomi was convinced there was foul play at work here. It could be her overactive writer’s imagination, but instinctively she knew Maggie had been killed by someone.

Most likely someone close to her. Wasn’t that usually the story?

More determined than ever to solve this crime, Naomi stood up and brushed her pants off. She leaned over and spoke directly to Maggie’s headstone.

“I will figure this out, girl. Just give me some time. I’ll find out who was responsible for this and you’ll give me my story. How does that sound? Fair?”

The sound came from the woods this time. Whatever was creating the sound remained hidden.

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Naomi has a knack for attracting attention from ethereal beings—whether she wants it or not. Newly engaged to her sexy neighbor, Bryce, she has little time to celebrate and plan for her upcoming wedding, because no sooner does she wrap up a heartbreaking cold case than she finds herself right back where she started, searching for answers alongside ghostly spirits.

This time, however, Naomi learns that things are not what they seem as a man from her past quickly becomes her worst nightmare. If she’s not careful, this man might crush her hopes and dreams forever as he proves to be her most difficult opponent yet.

Still, Naomi tries to focus on her relationship with Bryce. Can it withstand head games and cruel intentions? Naomi makes it her mission to keep Bryce and his daughter safe from harm, but will true love be tough enough to withstand her adversaries?

Naomi must keep her eyes wide open and question everything— and everyone—in order to survive.

She sensed it before she heard the news. She could feel it deep in her bones. All night long she had tossed and turned, unable to find sleep.

Nick.

“No,” Naomi wailed into her pillow, pounding her fists.

No. But, of course, she knew it was true. After all, she had a sixth sense about things such as this. Damn, Nick. Why? How?

It had been several months since she had taken in his disheveled form, those cowardly eyes scanning her face, pleading for forgiveness from the other side of the depressing, stained, plastic divider at the county jail.

Forgiveness that was difficult to give, although she had been working on it. Too late, Nick. It’s way too late for you now. Part of Naomi’s heart ached for Nick’s troubled soul. For the troubled child he had once been.

Another part turned cold as she conjured up his face in her mind. As she had woken from a fitful night’s sleep, the image of Nick crying out, lost in the empty dark place where challenged souls lacked peace and closure, was too overwhelming to dismiss as a bad dream.

“Bryce.” Naomi spoke his name aloud, even though her fiancé was most likely sound asleep at his house just up the dirt road.

She needed Bryce.

But Naomi knew Bryce would have to wait. Right after her first cup of coffee, she would have to call Officer Marty to confirm the facts of what she already knew to be true.

How had it happened? Possibilities swirled through her mind. Endless scenarios came forth. It could be anything. Nick had been doing time for his part in the cover-up of Maggie Field’s death. Prisons could be dangerous, particularly for someone like Nick, a man who struggled to keep his emotions in check and often had difficulty conforming to the rules.

One with a dark, menacing presence.

One with attitude.

Memories of the not so distant past slammed Naomi. Images of Ryan and Maggie . . .

Maggie.

The ghost that had all but consumed her. Maggie had reached out to Naomi, demanding peace. Naomi admitted to herself that she had become obsessed at that time in her life. Preoccupied with putting both Maggie and Ryan to rest. Luckily, Bryce was loyal and patient to the core during the first hectic months of their new relationship.

What would he say now, knowing that a spirit was back? Knowing that this time it wasn’t the sweet spirit of a girl named Maggie or a quirky, kindhearted man that needed her help?

This time it was worse, far worse.

This time the spirit was unsettled, tortured—and to make matters even more daunting . . .

He was her ex-boyfriend.

Would Bryce be as understanding about Nick as he had been with Maggie and Ryan? Hopping up out of her bed to make her cup of coffee, Naomi figured she was about to find out.

***

Moments after she hung up the phone with her friend, Officer Miriam Marty, Naomi reached for her coffee mug but then placed it back on the counter with a gentle thud.

Damn, Nick.

Miriam had confirmed Naomi’s worst suspicions and provided the bare facts surrounding Nick’s death.

He was, indeed, dead. But the strange thing about it was that it appeared to have been intentional on his part. It was too early to say, but Miriam suspected that traces of drugs would be found in his system.

An overdose? Could he have intentionally taken his own life? No, that didn’t sound right. Then again, how well did Naomi even know Nick anymore? For that matter, how well had she ever known him? Naomi supposed it was easy enough for an inmate to have the means to obtain drugs. And, let’s face it, prison life could be grueling.

No, no. Something didn’t feel right about this. Nick’s sentence was only to last just a few more weeks, why would he purposely harm himself? As Naomi tried to make sense of the news, she paced the floor. Zelda, her loyal feline companion, weaved in and out of her legs as Naomi stopped and grabbed her coffee mug from the table.

Sharp rapping on the door startled Naomi, causing her to spill her coffee on her blouse. “Shoot!”

Voicing her own displeasure at nearly being stepped on, Zelda screeched as she tore into the living room. Naomi snatched a napkin, wiping at her top as she made her way to the door.

“Are you ready?” Bryce raised an eyebrow as Naomi stepped to the side to allow him through the front door. He leaned over and placed a quick kiss on her forehead.

“Ready?”

“Ah, yes. Remember? We were going to grab a bite and then head over to the trail for a walk?”

Yes. That’s right. She and Bryce had plans this morning. With everything going on, she had clearly forgotten.

“I . . . I’m so sorry. Give me a minute to change my shirt. Sit, I’ll be right back.” She scurried up the stairs to her bedroom to change. This could be a good thing, the time alone with Bryce. His young daughter, Holly, was in school, and she could have Bryce’s full attention.

Dressed in a clean shirt, Naomi sprinted down the stairs and grabbed her sneakers. She attempted her best smile as she tied the laces. “Almost ready,” Naomi managed.

“What’s with you? Why are you out of breath?” Bryce cocked his head as he studied Naomi.

“Just excited to spend the morning with you,” she offered a bit too cheerily, glancing up at him as she felt nagging guilt rise in her throat. He wouldn’t be happy about the news regarding Nick, and that was putting it mildly. He simply couldn’t even begin to understand. He would tell her to leave it alone, not to get caught up in somebody else’s problems.

Naomi swallowed hard and gripped Bryce’s warm hand as they made their way to his truck. Once inside, Naomi glanced at her fiancé and then gazed down at her lap.

“Bryce?” she whispered.

Concern etched his handsome face. “What is it? What’s wrong?” He reached for her hands.

“We need to talk.”

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coming soon

ENTANGLED SOULS

coming late 2018

If Naomi thought solving three murders was going to earn her a respite from the spirits who flock to her for guidance and resolution, she couldn’t have been more wrong. This time around, helping her friend, Officer Miriam Marty, solve a particularly daunting case is just the beginning.

Newly married to her soul mate, Bryce, Naomi figured she could settle in and enjoy the first few months of marriage without the all-consuming task of helping the spirits around her find the closure they so desperately seek. She should have known there was no chance of normalcy, though – even her stepdaughter Holly’s quirky friend, Lillie, adds to the confusion.

This time, Naomi’s challenge is unique. Not only does she have to put her heart and soul into helping an intricate, beautiful ghost, but this precious soul soon teaches Naomi that her path in life, her fate, has led her to precisely where she needs to be.

Everything about Naomi’s past experiences with the paranormal crashes together as Naomi becomes entwined in the entangled plot that has become her life, alongside the unique souls that complete her destiny.

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Mya O’Malley was born and raised in the suburbs of New York City, where she currently lives with her husband, daughter and step-daughters. The family also consists of a boxer named Destiny and a ragdoll cat named Colby. Mya earned an undergraduate degree in special education and a graduate degree in reading and literacy. She works as a special education teacher and enjoys making a difference in the lives of her students.

Mya’s passion is writing; she has been creating stories and poetry since she was a child. Mya spends her free time reading just about anything she can get her hands on. She is a romantic at heart and loves to create stories with unforgettable characters. Mya likes to travel; she has visited several Caribbean Islands, Mexico and Costa Rica. Mya is currently working on her eleventh novel.

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Magick S Pathway

MAGICK’S PATHWAY

The Haller Lake Series, Book 2

by Lauren Marie

Genre: Paranormal Suspense Romance


Kris Bennett-Lake’s world, after a year, isn’t what she’d have thought it would be. She’s married, with a three month old baby and magical powers wanted by evil demons, a ghost and an Oracle.

Garda, the puppet master, has watched Kris for the right time to take her abilities and turn her to the dark side. He has a plan for her and brings his son, Guillermo, into the mix.

Kris is thrown into a maelstrom, from being chained in a dungeon for eight years to making an illegal poison, White Dagger and after a vision that matches her with Guillermo is desperate to keep her husband, Roman, and son, Otter, safe. Will she accept her power and take her place in fighting evil or will she turn her back on the magick’s and take another offer sending her to a different realm and another life? Will she be strong enough to save her family and the world where she exists?

Roman went to the door and opened it. Lorrie smiled up at him. “Hello, Lakeman.”

“Roman, it’s not Lorrie.” Kris moved toward the crib, picked up Otter and held him tight.

“Rochelle?” Roman said and closed the door a little.

“How’d you guess?” she asked.

“You have no aura or light of any kind.”

“Very good, you’re smarter than I thought. Because of your protection spell, I cannot enter. I’m here to give you a warning.” She smiled again, and looked at Kris and the baby. “Cute kid, sorry we missed the birth.” She looked back up at Roman. “Since you saved me from Meshach last year, I believe I owe you. This will make us even.”‘

“I didn’t save you, Rochelle. Kris did all the talking,” Roman corrected her.

“Whatever.”

“Well, what have you to say?” Roman asked.

“There is an evil heading this way,” she stated.

“We’ve been told this from our own sources.”

“It’s Pelonus. He’s very dangerous and will be more difficult to overcome than the last three. He has a multitude of minions and you are being watched. His spies are everywhere.”

A DEMON SCHEME

KRIS BENNETT is an art consultant and lives by Haller Lake. On an evening after an opening for a new artist, she drinks a glass of Brael Mist wine. The peach chardonnay is tainted with cyanide, other poisons and an evil enchantment spell. It opens her mind to a spiritual world she never believed existed.

ROMAN is a guardian of Haller Lake. He is told by the Lakeman’s Oracle he must watch over Kris and keep her safe from an evil interested in her abilities. When she drinks the wine she is able to see Roman and the other lake guardians. His love for Kris comes on quickly and helps her understand the new world she is experiencing.

ABEDNEGO BRAEL is a low level demon who wants Kris body and soul to be possessed by the ghost of his long dead love ROCHELLE. He’s done it before, but that body aged and died, releasing Rochelle back into the world. SHADRACH AND MESHACH are Abednego’s brother demons who are also after Kris, but for different reasons. They realize she has a great power and if they are able to turn her, they could take the power for their own uses.

When the wine opens Kris’s mind, she learns about her own magical powers from her alter ego, ELZABETH, who has long lived deep inside her mind and guided other women in Kris’s family, who also had magical abilities.

With the help of the Haller Lake guardians, Kris fights to retain her very soul and her growing powers.

Lauren Marie’s first published series – The Men of Haller Lake – originally came out in 2010. She’s learned so much over the last seven years and it’s been a dream to get the stories re-edited and problems with point of view corrected. With Books to Go Now’s help the dream became a reality with the release of A Demon’s Scheme – Book 1 of the Haller Lake series – in July 2017.

She is also the author of Big Mike-Little, Golden Ribbons – story 4 of the Miss Demeanor Private Detective Agency series, I’m Not What You Think, Love’s Embers – book 1 of the Canon City Series, Love on Ice – book 2 of the Canon City Series, One Touch at Cob’s Bar and Grill – story 3 of the Montana Ranch Series, Love’s Touch – Then and Now, Going to Another Place.

She lives in Western Washington State with four cats, Agamemnon, Tazmania, Jericho and Jasper.

Lauren likes to receive feedback. If you want to send her likes and dislikes, you can go to the contact us page on the web-site laurenmariebooks.com or write to her at themenofhallerlake@hotmail.com. or friend her at facebook.com/laurenmariebooks. She does respond to feedback.

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