Chasing Shadows – Making Amends (14)

Welcome to installment #14 of the Chasing Shadows – Making Amends series. For more information or to read the previous scene, head to this page.

Chapter 7

Scene 1

The wehr-tigress was one more burden to his list of responsibilities, yet Mujur had no choice but to take her with him. He couldn’t abandon a female to the perils of the rainforest. It was one thing for a wehr-tigress to hunt alone in a territory patrolled by her people, which was dangerous enough, but for one to wander so far from the clan who protected her was another story.

He only wished he could escort her back to her village, but he couldn’t go near it without the risk of exposure. Not when her clan hunted him for murder.

For a fracture of a second, the dead woman’s face flashed before his eyes. She’d begged him before she’d died.

“Please.” Her last word as the life had faded from her eyes.

This small frail creature before him was like her—helpless and easily broken. Only the fierce determination which waxed and waned in her green eyes explained how she’d survived for so long. He admired her inner strength, but in the deadly rainforest, it would only protect her so far.

As long as the wehr-tigress remained under his care, he would keep her safe. He wouldn’t fail her. One death on his hands was already too many. He would fulfill his promise and deliver her to the southern village—Opah’s clan.

The binturong hissed when Mujur held out a hand. He suppressed a return growl and said, “Come.”

The wehr-tigress stared at him with distrust, rebuffing him as she’d done before.

Never belonging anywhere, Mujur had long grown accustomed to rejections. He forced a smile. “If I wanted to do you harm, I would have already.”

She stroked her binturong a few times before taking a deep breath, then she reached out and placed her hand in his. He pulled her to her feet and reveled at how his hand engulfed her tiny one so completely.

So fragile, so delicate. He couldn’t help but want to protect her. One such as her should never know pain.

As she drew closer, he noticed a discoloration running from the bottom of her ear to the top of her breasts. Barely discernible, but there nonetheless. Like a beacon, it drew him. It stood apart as if outlining her erogenous zones of her exquisite flesh. He reached out to brush the back of his hands against her nape.

She jerked away and splayed her hand over the markings. “I’m not defective.”

The words echoed in his mind before they registered. “Defective?”

“I’m not.” She lifted her chin.

He cringed at the defiance in her voice. Wehr-tigresses were too few to discard because of a birthmark. Though a blemish to some, he wanted only to trace it with his tongue. “Of course not. You’re beautiful. A wehr-tigress worthy to be cherished.”

A flush colored her cheeks and added a shy allure.

“Call me Mujur,” he said.

“Kecil.”

He chuckled softly. “A fitting name.”

She snatched her hand free of his, and the fire returned to her eyes. “I am capable.”

So defensive. “I didn’t say you weren’t. Kecil-kecil cili padi.” Small but fierce.

Her mouth opened then snapped closed.

“Are you ready?” He held out his hand to her again.

She hesitated only a moment before she slipped hers into his.

Chain Reaction Blog Tour + Giveaway

Just reading the blurb on this one makes me want to see it on the big screen. It gives me chills all over.


Title: Chain Reaction
Series: Phenom League, Book 1
Author: T. C. Archer
Genre: Romance
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Ebook
Words: 65,000

Book Description:

Former Chicago Detective Jordan Pierce put his life on hold in order to protect America’s secret weapon against the Nazis, The Manhattan Project. But he can’t protect himself as his humanity is eaten away by a mysterious disease that destroys him, while at the same time makes him more powerful than any man he’s ever known. Jordan finds out how much the disease has devoured his soul when he falls in love with the woman who might destroy America and tear apart his last shred of humanity.

Available at Amazon | ARe | Bookstrand | B&N |

Excerpt

A moment later, I halted in front of the closed door where Dr Nichols waited. The name painted on the glass read: Dr Enrico Roma, the alias of the great scientist and Nobel Prize laureate Enrico Fermi. The alias didn’t fool anybody but the ignorant. Light shone through the milky glass window. I blew out a breath. The last thing I wanted to do was interrogate a hysterical woman.

I opened the door and stopped dead at the sight of a shapely blonde leaning against Fermi’s mahogany desk. I stared as realization sunk in that the Veronica Lake look-alike standing there was the same egghead pictured in her personnel file. The glasses she’d worn were absent and, despite the red-rimmed eyes and drawn expression, the single overhead light warmed the creamy complexion that had looked bland and colorless in the photo.

Thick blond hair slid across her face in a broad wave and flowed down slim shoulders. Suddenly, I understood the reasoning behind the functional bun in the picture. Despite the legs that mesmerized a man all the way down to the high heel straps, the tweed skirt and blazer she wore emphatically stated the bombshell figure was off limits. But the moment a man laid eyes on her luxurious hair all bets were off. My breath caught with bloodlust as I drew in her scent from across the room.

Gray-blue eyes stared from behind the drape of blond hair. Her gaze flicked to my waistband and I realized she’d glimpsed the colt holstered beneath my suit jacket.

“You wear your gun like a gangster,” she said.

I startled. Her voice, low and sultry, held a shaky note, but I knew the remark was payment for my staring.

“This incident requires I carry a weapon.” My drill sergeant used to berate any reference to the word gun. “Your gun is between your legs, son. Your pistol or rifle is called a weapon.”

She continued to stare and guilt stabbed at me. She’d discovered a colleague who’d been brutally murdered, and I stood in the doorway gawking at her. I swallowed, feeling like a school kid.

“Dr Nichols, I’m Agent Pierce, head of nightshift security.” Her fingers tightened around a lace handkerchief gripped in her right palm. I didn’t want to step closer, but had to. Her pheromones were making my blood, or what was left of it, crave an infusion from her veins. “What happened?”

Her gaze dropped to the hankie and she began working the fabric with both hands. “I was working late and needed Leon to come to the lab. I couldn’t get the Geiger counter to calibrate. I knocked. When no one answered, I opened the door and…” Her eyes swung up to meet mine. “So much blood.” Her gaze remained locked with my eyes as if demanding a response.

“I’m sorry,” I offered. “I thought you were assigned to dayshift.”

She swiped at the corners of her eyes with the handkerchief. “I switched shifts yesterday so Leon and I could calibrate the new equipment.”
I nodded. The scientists worked a twelve hours on, twelve off schedule seven days a week. We were in a race against Nazi scientists while men died in Europe, North Africa, and the Pacific. “Did you notice anything unusual tonight?” I asked.

“Nothing.”

“Hear anything strange on the way to Dr Heinrick’s office, pass anyone in the hall?”

She shook her head. “Maybe he’s still here.” Something in the way she stared at—through—me, searching for answers and fearing what she might find, threatened to tip me off balance. “The murderer is gone,” I replied in a level voice.

“How do you know?”

“A hunch,” I said, and meant it.

“Why kill Heinrick?” she said. “Why not Compton or Fermi? But Heinrick…” Her voice trailed off.

“Are you saying Heinrick didn’t know anything worth killing for?”

“I suppose we all know something worth killing for. Each scientist on this project is top in his or her field. But the project will go on without Heinrick. If we lost Oppenheimer, or Fermi, the project would be delayed, if not brought to a standstill.”

“Did you enter Heinrick’s office?” “No, I took one look and ran.”

The response, given without hesitation, or guile, made me wonder if this woman ran from anything.

“This was the first office I came to,” she said.

Her story made sense, and my instincts said she was telling the truth. I had learned to trust my sixth sense, especially the last eight months. This ability was another one of those things I couldn’t explain, like being conscious of the way her pheromones where working on me double-time.
“Are you staying in the dorm?” I asked. She nodded.

“I’ll have someone escort you there.”

Desire to go with her shot to the surface with the heat of a volcano. I pictured white skin, full breasts, and blond hair between perfect thighs. I forced my breathing to remain even, and the swelling in my shorts abated. I’d never experienced such sudden, intense lust. If I escorted her back to her room I would drink her blood—and God only knew what I would do to her afterward. My pulse jumped with the thought of her warm blood flowing past my tongue down my throat… and her tight walls closing around me as I entered her.

“I have to complete my measurements before the day shift,” she said. I jarred from the erotic thought. “There’s not enough equipment to go around,” she added.

I nodded. “Of course.”

Clipped footsteps sounded almost noiselessly on the linoleum floor of the hallway and I recognized McHenry’s walk two seconds before Dr Nichols’s eyes shifted over my shoulder.

“Pierce.”

I glanced back to see him standing in the open doorway. “The general wants to talk to you.”

A measure of sanity reasserted itself. I had to get away from her, now. “Could you escort Dr Nichols back to the lab?”

His expression lightened. “No problem.” He stepped aside and motioned toward the door with an open hand. “Dr Nichols.”

She cast me a farewell glance and headed toward the door. I tried tearing my eyes from the gentle sway of hips as she walked past, but couldn’t, and felt the heat swell to the surface again. I had to find one of the small rodents whose blood I drank to keep my thirst for human blood at bay, or go back to Heinrick and hope the congealed blood in his decaying body would make me forget the craving. Rising desire twisted my insides and I feared even Heinrick’s dead blood wouldn’t work against the warm, pulsing blood of Dr Nichols.

About the Author

T. C. Archer is comprised of award winning authors Evan Trevane and Shawn M. Casey. They live in the Northeast.

Evan puts his Ph.D. to good use by writing about alternate realities, and Shawn channels the mythology and philosophy she studied during her wasted youth into writing about exotic places and times.

Evan and Shawn write romantic sci-fi, paranormal romance and romantic suspense.

Find the Author Online

Website | Facebook | Twitter: T.C. Archer@TCArcher | Blog | Goodreads

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Follow the Tour

July 17th- The Jeep Diva (Book Review/Giveaway)
July 18th- The Bunnys Review (Book Review/Author Interview)
July 19th- Full Moon Bites (Giveaway/Promo Post)
July 20th- Heart Of A Wolf (Book Review/Author Interview)
July 21st- The Avid Reader (Author Interview/Giveaway)
July 22nd- A Dream Within A Dream (Giveaway/Promo Post)
July 23rd- Proserpine Craving Books (Author Interview/Giveaway)
July 24th- Redheads Review It Better (Author Interview/Book Review)
July 25th- A Diary Of A Book Addict (Book Review/Giveaway)
July 26th- Tricia Kristufek (Book Review/Giveaway)
July 27th- This Is From My Heart (Author Interview/Promo Post)
July 28th- Ramblings of an Amateur Writer (Giveaway/Promo Post)
July 29th- A Page Away (Giveaway/Promo Post)
July 30th- Off the Page (Author Interview/Promo Post)
July 31st- Simply Infatuated (Author Interview/Giveaway)

Chasing Shadows – Making Amends (13)

Welcome to installment #13 of the Chasing Shadows – Making Amends series. For more information or to read the previous scene, head to this page.

Chapter 6

Scene 2

The sound of the male’s footsteps pounded behind Kecil. He was right. She shouldn’t be alone in the forest, away from the protection of her clan. It mattered little Gemuk was anything but safe; she trusted the stranger even less.

She put all she had into escaping capture, but her short legs were no match for the stranger’s long strides, and he devoured the distance in no time. Too late she realized her tiger form would have provided more speed. Her last thoughts before strong arms wrapped around her waist were Great Spirit, protect me.

Her feet lifted from the ground. Kicking whatever part of his body her heels met, she refused to let him take her without a fight.

Was this what her mother had felt? Undefined terror? Kecil’s eyes smarted with tears of hopelessness as she dug her claws into his forearm.

He grunted and dropped her. Kecil scrambled to get away, but the leaves slipped under her feet and kept her from standing. It didn’t matter. He was on her in an instant, flattening her to the ground. She screamed.

“Stop fighting!” His palm covered her mouth.

She chomped down, and he snatched his hand away.

“The Great Spirit take you,” he said. “I’m not going to hurt you.”

She tried to push off but all she managed to do was grind her cheek into the dirt.

“Be still,” he breathed into her ear.

“Noooo!” Her refusal was pointless. With his body weighing her down, she couldn’t move if she wanted.

“Ah!” he yelled and lifted off, but still managed to sit on her back. His new position allowed her room to breathe, but she still couldn’t pull free with her legs pinned under his bulk.

Teman screeched as he sailed past and landed on the ground with enough momentum to spin in a full circle. He found his bearings and scurried forward, his hair standing on end.

“I said I won’t hurt you.” Her captor rose and pulled her with him. Before Kecil could put up a fight, he folded her arms to her chest, immobilizing her. “Call your binturong off. I won’t stand by as it attacks me… and I don’t play with food.”

Her heart jumped to her throat. “Teman, stop!”

Though her binturong friend let out a snarl, he didn’t come closer.

“I’m going to set you down, and you’re not going to run,” the stranger said. “I don’t want to hurt you or your friend, but I’ll do what I have to do.”

Kecil swallowed the lump growing in her throat and held back tears which threatened to fall.

His lips grazed her cheek. “Understand?”

Please don’t hurt me, she thought, all the while willing Teman to run.

Her captor gave a little squeeze. “Understand!”

“Yes! Yes!” She nodded so hard her brain thudded in her skull.

“Good.” His hold on her loosened.

Kecil slid down his front until her feet met solid ground. She willed herself not to run as she walked toward her friend. One foot in front of the other, each step a jerky movement. When she reached Teman, the muscles in her legs failed, and she dropped to her knees.

The binturong closed the distance and hopped into her arms.

“It’ll be okay,” she said as she held him close, smoothed down his fur.

“Where’s your clan?”

Kecil jumped at the stranger’s sharp tone. What made her think she could bring her mother’s killer to justice? She couldn’t even protect herself from this threat.

“Your clan,” he said.

Though he walked with silence, she could feel his approach bearing down on her. She fell to the side and faced him. Teman leapt from her grasp and hissed.

“Please.” Kecil wrapped her arms around her friend’s neck. “My clan is north. I just want to continue my journey.”

A curious expression flickered across his face. “About 200 kilofeet?”

She nodded. “Yes.”

“I cannot return you to your village.” His arms crossed in front of him, the muscles flexing and revealing his tension.

“There’s a clan south of here. That is where I go.”

The stranger relaxed a little. “I can take you there…”

Despite his hesitation, Kecil was overcome with emotions she had no words for. No one, other than her father, had ever offered her aid. “You will?”

“As long as the penanggalan lurks, I can’t let you wander the rainforest alone.” He held out a hand. “I also cannot take you now.”

The little hope kindling within her died. “I don’t understand.”

“While the penanggalan threat exists, no wehr-tigress is safe. You’ll have to stay close to me until I destroy it.” He beckoned with his fingers. “Now come.”

“No.” She lifted her chin, steeled herself against his gaze.

He frowned, and his eyes, the yellow-orange of a parrots plantain, bore into her. “A lone female is not safe.”

I’ve never been safe. “I have no time to tarry.” My mother’s killer may already be gone.

The stranger smiled even as his eyes hardened. “You will come of your own volition, or I will bring you by force.”

Kecil’s entire being prickled. She stared at him for a long time, trying to discern his motivation. What did it matter to him where she went? Other than to make her miserable, no one had cared in the past.

She wanted nothing more to make a run for it, send Teman into the trees, but she had no doubt in her mind the stranger would follow through with his words. Already he’d bested her twice. Still, neither time had he’d done her harm. Every touch had been calculated to contain her and nothing more.

The stranger took a step toward her, and Teman tensed in her arms.

“I’ll go with you!” she said, not for herself, but for the safety of her friend. In time, she would find a way to escape.

The stranger studied her, the look on his face indiscernible. “I will take you south after I eliminate the demon.”

Tall, lean muscled—he was the epitome of a wehr-tiger in his prime. Kecil could almost believe destroying a penanggalan would be nothing more than an inconvenience to him.

Halo of the Damned Blog Tour

Have you been following the Halo of the Damned Blog Tour? Whatever your answer, you’ve come to the right place. 🙂 Today we have Author Dina Rae to share with us about conspiracies and more!

Book Title: Halo of the Damned
Author: Dina Rae
Series: Book 1
Genre: Dark, Horror, Paranormal, Romance, Suspense, Thriller
Publisher: Eternal Press
Paperback/Ebook
Pages: 291
Words: 89,000

“A chain of advertising agencies, a new breed of humans, and a fallen angel to worship…

Andel Talistokov is known for his slick advertising agencies across the globe. He is a fallen angel that uses advertising as a weapon for Satan’s work. His growing power emboldens him to break several of Hell’s Commandments. Furious with his arrogance, Satan commands him to return to Hell after finding his own replacement. Yezidism, an ancient angel worshiping religion, quietly expands throughout the West. Armaros appears as a guest of honor during their ceremonies. He mates with young women to produce nephilim, a mixed race of humans and angels. They are alone and unprepared for their supernatural power. Joanna Easterhouse, a recovering drug addict, steps out of prison shortly after her mother’s fatal accident. She and her sister, Kim, unravel their mother’s secretive past. Intrigued, they learn their bloodline is part of a celestial legacy. Both worlds collide. Halo of the Damned is a horrifying tale that weaves research together with suspenseful twists and turns.”

Available at Barnes & Nobles || The Book Depository || Amazon || Eternal Press

Reena Jacobs: After reading the blurb of Halo of the Damned, I was beyond intrigued. How did you come up with the idea?

Dina Rae: I always found the Biblical story about Satan’s fall fascinating. I also found various advertising campaigns equally fascinating. The two components seemed to go together. Back in the early ’90s when Saddam Hussein was killing the Kurds I read an article about a tiny sect that worshiped the devil. Upon further research, there really was one, the Yezidis. Had to write about it.

RJ: I know you’re into conspiracy theories. Halo of the Damned sounds a lot like a religious conspiracy. And know what? I totally buy into it. I’ve been trying to convince my husband for years that various agencies were the tools of the devil! Share with us your favorite conspiracy theory.

DR: New World Order! As you probably know, it’s a theory that an inner circle of the elite are positioning the world for a global takeover. People argue all the time about how “they” are going to do it. With the economic collapse of our country and Europe, all of the blunders our politicians have made, decisions about bail outs and wars, etc., one cannot help but wonder…

RJ: The New World Order and Illuminati! My husband is all over that one. For his safety, I won’t mention which world leaders he thinks are part of it. Give us a brief description of a story you have hidden in your skeleton closet? And will it ever see the light of day?

DR: I am querying publishers and agents for my third novel, Bad Juju. It’s about an old Voodoo bokor who mentors two teens in the dark arts. Again, lots of research on Voodoo-truly a fascinating religion. I am also in the middle of a sequel to Halo of the Damned.

RJ: Now you’ve got me curious about the cover that’ll land on Bad Juju. Who is your favorite author and why?

DR: Hard question, so many. I guess I got to go with consistency over brilliance. Stephen King has had several moments of brilliance and is always good. I know that I will always enjoy one of his novels. I also love Dan Brown, Preston & Childs, Joel Rosenburg, Brad Thor, Nelson DeMille, Tom Harris, and Kitty Kelly.

RJ: Do you have any advice for other writers?

DR: I’m very new myself. Not really filled with advice, but I will say that reading is a must. I always loved to read, but now, I look at how the author transitions, switches scenes, POV, sets up characters and back stories, etc. My mind records the parts that I like and also the parts that I don’t like (and try not to fall into the same trap).

RJ: I know exactly what you mean. Sometimes it seems I learn more from reading the works of other authors than I do from critiques! Anything special you’d like to say to readers?

DR: Buy my book! You’ll love it!

RJ: Hearing you loud and clear. haha What are you working on now?

DR: The sequel to Halo of the Damned. I’m halfway through.
Thanks for having me!

Now for an Excerpt

Andel Talistokov watched Marcus, his assistant (among other titles) scrub his office cleaner than an ICU room. He carried Catalina’s fresh head into the custom-made panic room he had built before occupying the building.

The room was twenty feet below the basement, and he and Marcus were the only ones who knew about it. Inside the room were a toilet, table, and kitchenette equipped with basic appliances.

The refrigerator acted as a personal trophy case, displaying an array of severed heads from previous victims. He enjoyed looking at them. There were currently three other heads in the freezer. Andel bagged them up to make room for Catalina’s head.

He didn’t want her face to compete with his other victims. She was special. She was his daughter.

About the Author

Dina Rae is a new author here to stay.  As a former teacher, she brings an academic element to her work.  Her two novels, Halo of the Damned and The Last Degree, weave research and suspense throughout the plots.

Dina lives with her husband, two daughters, and two dogs outside of Chicago.  She is a Christian, an avid tennis player, movie buff, and self-proclaimed expert on several conspiracy theories.  When she is not writing, she is reading novels from her favorite authors Dan Brown, Anne Rice, Brad Thor, Jim Marrs, Alex Jones, C.C. Finlay, and Preston & Childs.

Find Dina Rae Online!

Website: www.dinarae.co
Blog: www.dinaraeswritestuff.blogspot.com
Twitter: @HalooftheDamned

Follow the Rest of the Tour!

July 9th- Redheads Review It Better (Book Review/Giveaway)
July 10th- Proserpine Craving Book Blog (Author Interview/Giveaway)
July 11th- Nilsa’s Book Blog (Book Review/Author Interview)
July 12th- The Jeep Diva (Book Excerpt/Giveaway)
July 13th- Erotic Romance With a Bite…Leigh Savage (Author Interview/Giveaway)
July 14th- Heart Of A Wolf (Book Review/Guest Post)
July 15th- Fangs For The Fantasy (Book Review/Author Interview)
July 16th- Abbey Ann’s Bookland (Guest Post/Book Excerpt)
July 17th- A Diary Of A Book Addict (Book Review/Book Play List)
July 18th- Tricia Kristufek (Book Excerpt/Promo Post)
July 19th- Book Review Club (Guest Post/Giveaway)
July 20th- Keeping Up With The Rheinlander’s (Book Play List Post/Book Review)
July 21st- Ramblings of an Amateur Writer (Author Interview/Promo Post)
July 22nd- What’s Hot? (Book Review/Giveaway)