One Night in Portland by Angelique Migliore


Kindle USKindle UK
Kindle CAKindle AU


Bridges traverse worlds.

Army Captain and surgeon, Finn O’Grady, returns from a field training exercise exhausted and defeated; two soldiers were injured in an accident and one didn’t make it home.

Quilt artist, Lee-Lee Song, storms out of a date with yet another good Asian boy her parents have set up only to run smack into Finn.

Their worlds—which could not be further apart—collide on a street corner in downtown Portland, and neither is in a hurry to return to their own realities. Finn craves the distraction of Lee-Lee’s creative and colorful world. Lee-Lee wants a man who is one hundred eighty degrees away from her parents’ choices.

As Lee-Lee and Finn venture together across the many bridges of Portland and share their favorite places around the city, they grow more attracted and closer.

Will this special day together force Lee-Lee and Finn back into their own worlds, or will they build one more bridge in Portland—one to each other?




Swelling? Oh, I was swelling all right.

In all the wrong places. Or the right places. As soon as this blue-eyed hottie’s large hand skimmed up the back of my bare thigh, my brain dropped straight down to the gutter. I couldn’t remember the last time a touch seared my skin with such electricity—if ever. My mind drew a complete blank, so naturally, my mouth filled the void with words.

I kept my head down, pretending to look at my knee as I gathered my thoughts. The giant pack I had tripped over lay on the ground a few steps away. Camouflage: it matched his uniform. Since when did Portland have soldiers just standing out on the streets? That was the job of the hippies.

Lifting my head, I smiled at the soldier. “Do you need a ride somewhere?”

Confusion blanketed his face, and he slowly shook his head. “Why would you ask me that?”

“You look a bit like someone just dumped you here. Can I take you somewhere?” His concern for my knee already told me he deserved better than to be abandoned on the sidewalk. Time alone with a hot stranger probably wasn’t the smartest idea, but after eight weeks of boring dates with Jae and a dry spell for over a year before that, my body said it wasn’t the worst idea, either.

His rust-colored eyebrows furrowed as he considered my offer. His very handsome face grew thoughtful, and its intensity ramped up several notches. “How about I drive you home and properly examine your knee? Maybe even ice it for a little while and then check your patella?”

“I think it’s only scraped; I’ll be fine. See?” I placed my foot back on the ground and put my weight on it. A small moan escaped my throat before I could capture it.

“That’s what I thought.” He tossed his giant pack onto his back as if it weighed nothing and secured it on each shoulder. “Where’s your car, ma’am?” Done with my objections, his blue eyes bored into mine.

Did I really want to argue with this man who was concerned over my scraped knee when guys like Jae weren’t even concerned for my future happiness? No, I didn’t. “Only a couple of spaces up, actually.”

“Do you need me to carry you?” He held his arms out.

“Ha!” I blurted. “You have no idea how much I weigh.”

Not one of his muscles budged, but he visually pored over all of my curves thoroughly enough to make my cheeks warm. “Not a lot from the looks of things. Not to mention, you have no idea how much I can carry.”

My cheeks grew even warmer as I stepped out of my comfort zone and boldly returned the investigation of this soldier: his outstretched arms, wide chest, rigid torso, and thighs the size of tree trunks. He was the farthest thing from my parents’ choices, and he looked delicious. “Tempting, but I’m not that hurt.”

He dropped one arm and crooked the other for me to take.

The caring gesture warmed me more than the sun did right then. I couldn’t argue with such a sweet display of gentlemanly affection, either.

About the Author:

While in her third year of French at high school, Angelique was forced to journal every day. Never the lover of her own personal diaries, she instead rewrote Romeo and Juliet, en Françias. Except that Romeo was a duck-billed platypus, and Juliet was a strawberry. It was a doomed, albeit deliciously sweet, relationship from the start.Long before that, Angelique wrote and performed ridiculously caddy commercials in grade school with her best friend Shannon. Ever the optimist, she believes the best is yet to come, sharing a meal is the quickest route to peace, and love conquers all. Although she was born and raised in the paradise that is the Emerald Coast of the Florida Panhandle, not traveling has never been an option for Angelique.

Today, Angelique writes character-driven love stories of various heat levels in settings from Earth to the nearest Black Hole which range from the Cosmic past to the Inter-galactic future. She also loves rugby. And champagne. With fresh raspberries, if you please.

• • •

• Find Angelique Online •



So Much It Hurts By Dellani Oakes – an extract #tirgearrtuesday #romance

ISBN: 9781370737581
Kindle USKindle UK


Alone in the big city, Pia Donovan is feeling rather lost when she finally arrives at the majestic, old hotel in the downtown area. Flynn Chancellor and his roommate, Yancy Fredrick, take an interest in Pia, introducing her to their city. Pia seems to have found her niche, and has made friends with the welcoming residents in the old hotel.

Life seems perfect, until one weekend when everything changes forever.


Sweet, sultry music poured from the open second-story windows as Pia walked across the pitted, uneven ground. Scattered with puddles and trash, it wasn’t a very inviting aspect. The old, grand hotel building loomed above her, intimidating in the dusky light after sunset. Sighing, she forged ahead, dragging her rolling suitcase after her. It bumped into a particularly deep hole and caught. Yanking, she lost her balance and teetered to the right.

“Watch out!” Strong hands caught her, setting her on her feet. The same hands lifted her suitcase. “You all right, little lady?”

Pia wasn’t sure she liked being called a little lady by any man, but when she turned to look at him, she decided he had the right to. He was at least six foot three, maybe taller. She, a petite five three, was indeed a little lady. He flashed a brilliant smile at her.

“You’re the newbie.” He extended his hand. “Flynn Chancellor. Welcome to the fold.”

“Pia Donovan. Thank you. How does this work, exactly?”

“Didn’t get orientation?” He tugged her suitcase, ushering Pia inside.

“Sort of? They told me to report here this afternoon, but I took the wrong bus and ended up on the way to Maryville. I got as far as Walnut Street and finally figured out I was in the wrong spot.”

“Ooh, not a place for a lady of your delicate sensibilities to be.”

“Yeah, tell me about it. The driver wouldn’t let me out on the street. He dropped me at a satellite station and told me the right bus to take back.”

“That was nice of him.”

“He said he has a granddaughter my age. He wouldn’t set her loose to the wolves.”

Flynn chuckled. “Apt. I grew up in that area. It ain’t pretty.” He opened the door for her, letting her walk under his arm. It was an easy fit. “Where are you from, Pia Donovan?”

“Out of state. I moved here from Nebraska. Outside Kearney.”

“No kidding? What brings you up here?”

“I got a scholarship to City University.”


He opened a set of inner doors which led into a large, open area. To the right and left there were arched doorways which had once led to reception and lobby areas. They were now full of cast-off furniture and crowds of men and women, all about her age. Every ethnic blend imaginable greeted her small-town Nebraska eyes.


“We’ve got several music majors here. I’ll show you around, if you want.”

“I’d like that, thank you. How do I get settled?”

“We talk to Amita.” He pointed to the desk area. It had formerly been the receptionist’s desk — a tall, dark wooden structure that wrapped around like a bar.

“When was this place built?”

“Early 1900s.”

“And they’re tearing it down?”

“No. It will, eventually, be renovated.”

She nodded, looking around her at the early elegance of the place. It sported dark wood wainscoting, light walls, brass wall sconces. This was in stark contrast with the battered linoleum laid over the original hardwood floors, holes in the walls, and pieces of plywood over missing glass panes.

“You wouldn’t know to look at it, but it was a showplace in its time. Celebrities from all over the world visited. It was built by one of the founding families, so they will never tear it down.”

“It’s still got a stateliness to it, doesn’t it?”

“It does,” he agreed.

No one was at the desk, but he leaned over and called through an open doorway. “Oi, Amita! Found our newbie!”
A tall, mocha-skinned woman with wildly curly hair came out, wiping her hands on a dish towel. “Hi! You must be Pia. I’m Amita, I’m the resident manager. We expected you ages ago.”

“I got lost.”

“Ended up on Walnut Street,” Flynn added.

“Oh, my God! And lived to tell about it!”

Flynn chuckled and leaned against the tall desk, hands in pockets. Pia had a moment to take in details she hadn’t noticed outside in the dusk. He was broad-shouldered, with dancing green eyes. His chestnut colored hair was nearly to his shoulders, thick and straight, covered by a faded black fedora. Steel gauges, about the size of a quarter, stretched each earlobe. His arms were covered by intricate tattoos, forming sleeves from the wrist up. His shirtsleeves were rolled just past his elbows. Rusty black pants, which looked as if they had seen better days, dangled from colorful suspenders. His huge feet were covered in clunky, leather boots. Every piece of clothing was spattered with different colors of paint.

“You’ll be in the Ambassador Suite,” Amita said with a grin, handing over a registration card for Pia to sign.

“Sounds elegant.”

Meet the author:

Dellani Oakes makes her home in Florida, but she grew up in Western Nebraska. Before that, she had lived in four other states. Since then, she has added two more, giving her a unique perspective on life. Always a people watcher, Dellani put that talent to use when she became an author.Bitten by the writing bug early in life, Dellani first pursued poetry as her medium of self-expression. Soon, she moved on the song parodies and then short stories and humorous essays. Once she got to high school, it became apparent that she needed to learn to spell when she got a paper back from her English teacher, “For content – A+. For mechanics – F.” That comment changed her life, forcing her to focus as much on how she said things as what she said.

Dellani took up writing full time when her youngest son started kindergarten in 2002. Since then, she has published four books. Her two romantic suspense novels are with Tirgearr Publishing, though she has an historical romance and sci-fi novel with another publisher. She has also contributed to several anthologies.

• • •

• Find Dellani Online •

Dellani’s Choice Blog
Writer’s Scantuary Blog
The Ninja Tattoo Blog


Review: Grand Slam by Lily Harlem & Lucy Felthouse #bdsm #eroticromance


Blurb (from Amazon):

He’s Master of more than just the tennis court…

California had seduced me with promises of a new life working at Los Carlos Tennis Academy. What I didn’t expect was the dark, brooding number one seed, Travis Connolly, resisting my help. He wasn’t interested in my psychology skills. Instead his attention was drawn to the edgy, sharper corners of my desires, proving that they existed, setting me challenges and driving me crazy to the point of combustion.

I’m the best tennis player in the world—officially—so why would I need a damn woman full of psychobabble to get me on form? Despite my irritation, however, I can’t resist pushing Marie Sherratt’s buttons even though doing that shows her the darkest shades of my lust, the parts of me I buried deep. So I set her a challenge, one she rises to, one that has me rising too, and before long my game relies on her calling the shots, hitting the target and bending to my will. One thing was certain, being not just master of the court, but also of Marie is seriously good for my soul.


5-Star Review (on Amazon UK & Goodreads):

Yet again, another fabulous read by two fabulous authors! I love Lily and Lucy’s books, so combining the two is bound to be a recipe for success.

Grand Slam was a fairly quick read, and I finished the book in a couple of days. It was a slow burn as far as the BDSM side of things is concerned, with the main characters building up to a sizzling climax. But, this was perfect considering the inexperience of one character. It kept it natural and realistic unlike some other stories which dive straight into the kink.

Highly recommend this title for anyone who enjoys a hot romance. Ideal book for those who have never read a BDSM story before.



Racked by Sue Coletta


Kindle USKindle UK
Kindle CAKindle AU


It starts with an innocent stuffed animal. It ends in mind-numbing terror.

Five missing boys and an adult corpse found in the town’s water shed was only the beginning for Sage and Niko Quintano. After a hooded-stranger gives their son, Noah, a stuffed animal—the exact Christmas moose given to all the missing boys days before their abductions—their lives spiral downward into uncertainty.

Could Noah be the next boy to go missing?

As they piece together each cryptic clue, the future looks more and more grim. But what they soon discover blows everyone’s mind, the truth teetering on the unfathomable.

What does it all mean, and where do they go from here?



December 19, 2008
7:30 p.m.

In the vast openness of the snowmobile trails, solar-powered Christmas lights danced across pine needles on the branches I separated while the lanky silhouette of the serial predator tossed shovelfuls of dirty snow on a mound. Was he digging a fresh grave? My calf muscles jumping-jacked beneath my skin, begging me to run. But I couldn’t. Not yet.

A row of thin birch trees bowed over the makeshift grave, thin branches curled like the skeletal fingers of a demon protecting its prey. The overcast sky blurred the hazy moon into non-compliance, its glow hastened by gathering storm clouds.

Who did he plan to bury here? My gloved hand clawed at my throat.

Sweet Jesus, please tell me Noah’s still with Mrs. Falanga. All the saliva in my mouth dried to dust, my insides squirming, screaming for release. What if Childs left his post long enough for the serial predator to sneak past him? What if he murdered everyone in the house? What if he abducted my child after Mrs. Falanga tucked him in bed? She might not realize he was missing till dawn.

Beyond the tree, a flashlight balanced on its end, a smoldering yellow glow pointed toward the heavens. Cigarette smoke billowed through the haze. Hot ash tumbled into the darkness when he flicked the filter into the arctic December air.

I backed away from the tree.


My right heel froze on the pinecone.

The serial predator slung his portable spade over one shoulder and stalked toward me. “Hello?”

Male voice. Almost familiar. Where had I heard it before? Holding my breath, cramps squeezed my calf muscle as I crouched behind the conifer, flames tunneling down my sciatic nerve to my partially-raised foot, bent at such an angle mind-numbing pain riddled the whole right side of my leg.

The serial predator hustled back to the shallow grave, and I lowered my wet boot to the snow. The moment he turned his back, I nosedived toward the base of the tree trunk, slithering beneath the branches like a frightened garter snake. The snow piled around the bottom helped shield the top half of my body. I pulled my legs out of view. A glacial breeze swept across my wet hair, and I could not stop shivering, the icy snow soaking through my jeans and wool coat.

With one smooth motion, he swiped his flashlight off the snow and aimed the beam toward the pine tree. “Hello?”

After the blinding light struck my eyes, I would never be able to describe his face or any distinguishable features, the black hoodie masking his identity. He could be anyone. Or no one.

With both gloves covering my nose and mouth, I held back icy breath that threatened to reveal my hiding spot.
“Is someone there?”

A cylindrical sphere lasered through the pine needles, and I ducked, my bare cheek trembling against a clustered mass of icicles. Snow boots clomped around the tree, then stopped—inches from my face.

Dear God, don’t let him find me.

About the Author:

Member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers, Sue Coletta is a bestselling, award-winning crime writer of psychological thrillers and mysteries. Three years running, Feedspot awarded her Murder Blog as one of the Top 50 Crime Blogs on the Net. Sue’s also the communications manager for Forensic Science and the Serial Killer Project and a proud member of the Kill Zone, an award-winning writing blog where she posts every other Monday. When Sue’s not reading or writing, you can find her feeding peanuts to her beloved pet crows, who live free.

• • •

• Find Sue Online •


Bloody Creek Murder by Susan Clayton-Goldner


Kindle USKindle UK
Kindle CAKindle AU


Five days after a tragic fall kills her 10-year-old son, Blair Bradshaw, an actress with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, is found dead. Her husband, Franklin Bradshaw, an esteemed criminal defense attorney, discovers her body. It is carefully displayed under her son’s tree house, among the flowers and other memorabilia left at the site of his death.

Franklin insists her death is a suicide brought on by the loss of their son. But Detective Radhauser finds evidence at the scene—bloody shoe prints on one of the rocks in the nearby creek, the careful way the body is arranged, and the fact that no weapon is found near her body—leads him to believe otherwise.

Was it grief that killed her? Or was it murder?


Friday, May 4, 2001

Detective Winston Radhauser lunged the roan stallion in the round pen on their ranch in Ashland, Oregon—a thirty-two-acre paradise they’d named Graceland. Ashland was a Renaissance village set in the foothills of the Siskiyou mountains. It was most renowned for its diversity and its world-class Shakespeare Festival. The picturesque university town had surroundings so beautiful, visitors often called it God’s Country. After nearly a decade, Radhauser and his family called it home.

The bay stallion, Ameer, the Arabic name for prince, was a lean, spirited Arabian about fifteen hands high with four white feet and a blaze. Radhauser wanted to prove he’d learned a few things about horse training. He planned to saddle break the horse for Gracie. Ever since the cancer, diagnosed during her pregnancy with Jonathan, he was a bit over-protective of his wife and couldn’t imagine his world without Gracie and the kids. She’d come through chemo and radiation like the trooper she was. All signs pointed to a complete recovery. Still, he knew how fast his world could change, and he wasn’t about to let his guard down again.

At first, Ameer had reared and kicked until he worked up a sweat. But over the last few weeks, the stallion became accustomed to the halter and bridle and had even allowed the saddle blanket to stay on his back for an extended period of time.

Radhauser stopped lunging and draped the blanket over the subdued horse, added the saddle, then carefully tightened the cinch. The air around them was tinged with the smell of alfalfa from the dozens of bales he’d stored in the alcove behind the arena.

With the coat of molasses he’d put on the bit, the horse took it without a fight. He led Ameer over to the fence surrounding the pen, then climbed up the rails until he was higher than the saddle.

“Are you gonna ride him now, Daddy?” His six-year-old daughter, Lizzie, sat on the fence beside her mother. Just like Gracie, she wore a pair of denim jeans, red cowgirl boots, and a short-sleeved, red T-shirt with the Arabian Horse Association logo, a black sculptured horse head, on the front.

Outside the round pen, seventeen-month-old Jonathan sat playing with bristle blocks in a playpen set up under the shade of a big leaf maple tree.

“I suggest you lunge him with the saddle on for another ten minutes or so.” Gracie smiled and gave him one of her looks that said, Listen up. I know more about this than you.

Radhauser ignored her advice and slowly lowered himself into the saddle until his full weight was resting on it. But before he was firmly seated or could grab the saddle horn, Ameer reared and bucked. With his ears pinned back, he snorted and jerked his head, his black mane flying. His front legs lashed out, and his dark eyes were wide open like he’d been spooked.

The detective was tossed backward off the smooth leather saddle and landed with a thud on the sandy floor.

Gracie laughed.

Radhauser let out a sigh, stood and brushed off the seat of his jeans while Ameer bolted in circles around the fence line of the pen. His pride hurt more than his body.

“Better stick to what you know,” Gracie said. “You’re not exactly Bill Shoemaker.”

Shoemaker was one hell of a rider—an old-time jockey who held the world record of most professional wins for twenty-nine years. “I’m a foot and a half taller than he was and about a hundred pounds heavier. It puts me at a slight disadvantage.”

She gave him a knowing look. “Believing yourself invincible can be a handicap.”

“Daddy fell off the horse.” Lizzie covered her mouth and giggled. It came out in little bubbles, like water starting to boil.

Gracie slipped from the fence and walked slowly toward Ameer. “It’s okay, boy. You’re okay now.”

At the sound of her voice, the horse’s ears shot forward and he whinnied a greeting. Gracie Radhauser, the horse whisperer, took a carrot out of her back pocket.

Ameer moved closer to her. While he nibbled, she removed the bit and bridle, replaced it with a halter and led him around the pen.

When she passed Lizzie, still sitting on the fence, she squeezed the little girl’s leg. “Maybe Daddy needs a little more training.”

Lizzie giggled again—a sound Radhauser loved more than any other.

Even Jonathan got in on the fun. He scrambled to his feet, stood in his playpen, and clapped his hands. “Daddy go boom.”

As if on cue, Radhauser’s cell phone rang. He answered, relieved to discover it was his new partner, Maxine McBride.

“I know you’re on vacation. But any possibility you can help me out? Officer Corbin just called. He’s at a house over on Sand Creek Road. The husband suspects his wife committed suicide because of the recent death of their ten-year-old son, Tommy. But Corbin isn’t so sure and wants us to check things out. He thinks we may have a murder case. And from what I understand, it isn’t pretty. The victim is Blair Bradshaw. Apparently, she’s an actress with the Shakespeare Festival.”

“Nothing I’d rather do.” Radhauser wrote down the address and gate code. “Meet you there in ten minutes. And call Heron. You know how he likes to investigate the scene himself.”

Gracie continued to work Ameer, but glanced up at Radhauser and smiled. “Looks like you’ve been saved by the bell.”

He lifted his hands, palm side up. “What can I say? Murder calls. So, I’m off to do something I’m actually good at. But you be careful. That’s a stubborn one.”

She gave him a gratuitous smile. “Don’t worry. Ameer has met his match in me.”

And Radhauser knew she was right. Gracie was a far more skilled horse trainer than he’d ever be.

His daughter, always the diplomat, grinned. “You’re good at being my daddy.”

He ruffled her dark hair, releasing the smell of apple shampoo and sunshine. “Thanks, Lizzie girl. That makes me feel a lot better.”

About the Author:

Susan Clayton-Goldner was born in New Castle, Delaware and grew up with four brothers along the banks of the Delaware River. She is a graduate of the University of Arizona’s Creative Writing Program and has been writing most of her life. Her novels have been finalists for The Hemingway Award, the Heeken Foundation Fellowship, the Writers Foundation and the Publishing On-line Contest. Susan won the National Writers’ Association Novel Award twice for unpublished novels and her poetry was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Her work has appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies, including Animals as Teachers and Healers, published by Ballantine Books, Our Mothers/Ourselves, by the Greenwood Publishing Group, The Hawaii Pacific Review-Best of a Decade, and New Millennium Writings. A collection of her poems, A Question of Mortality was released in 2014 by Wellstone Press. Prior to writing full time, Susan worked as the Director of Corporate Relations for University Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona.

Susan shares a life in Grants Pass, Oregon with her husband, Andreas, her fictional characters, and more books than one person could count.

• • •

• Find Susan Online •


The Crucifixion by Daithi Kavanagh – an extract #tirgearrtuesday #mystery

Today, we introduce Daithi Kavanagh.

The Tadhg Sullivan Series, #3

ISBN: 9781370988266
Kindle USKindle UK


Detective Tadhg Sullivan’s break away from serious crime comes to an abrupt end when he is pushed into investigating the murder of a retired Christian Brother. A newly elected left wing government fear that the media will hold them personally responsible for what is believed to be a hate crime against the Catholic Church.

Ella Kavanagh, the new Minister for Justice, hopes that placing Sullivan in charge of the investigation will help to distance the government from any mud-slinging by the media. However, no one is prepared for the litany of abuse and corruption stretching back decades, which is about to explode in all of their faces.

Can Sullivan save this fledgling government, or will the sins of the past remain buried, and so doing destroy the future of everyone concerned?


It was a beautiful late spring morning. The sun was starting to burn through the haze. He could hear birds chirping, high up in the trees. They were welcoming the summer, which would turn the leaves green to camouflage their nests. He loved the early morning; it blew away the cobwebs and made him feel fresh and clean. At night, his past would engulf him, filling him with fear and guilt. He hated the dark and always slept with the light on.

He took his early morning stroll down to the old barn-style church. The tiny church was only a stone’s throw from the main Parochial House. His leather shoes crunched the gravel path, just as they had done for twenty years, since his retirement. At the time, no one would have imagined him still there. It’s hard to kill a bad thing.

He was just about to enter the church, when he heard a movement behind him. He hadn’t time to turn and see what it was, because suddenly a hand had clasped him around the mouth. It pulled him backwards; a stinging pain in the side of his neck and then everything went black.

When he came around, it felt as if his body were being torn apart. Taking his head away from his chest he could see that his hands had been nailed to the church door. Unable to scream, due to being gagged, his head dropped back onto his chest and his hands and arms felt like they were on fire. The searing pain pushed him back into unconsciousness as he was grabbed by the hair and his head slammed against the church door. His gag was pulled off and a face from the past appeared before him.

“Remember me, sir?” was all that came out of the grinning demonic mouth as his tormenter began to speak.

“What do you want?” the old man answered back, but they were the last words he spoke before he felt a piercing pain in his side and the smiling face welcomed him to hell.

Meet the author

Daithi Kavanagh lives in Trinity, County Wexford with his wife and two teenage children.

He has worked for several years as a musician.

In the last couple of years, after taking up adult education, he began writing.

• • •

• Find Daithi Online •


A Wizard’s Choice by Maya Tyler


Kindle USKindle UK
Kindle CAKindle AU


Dreams or duty?

Wizard apprentice Kurtis Warde doesn’t want to become a full-fledged wizard, but he feels obligated to his grandfather who raised him. Making The Choice, whether or not to become a wizard and join The Circle, doesn’t feel like a choice at all. Leaving The Circle would give Kurtis the freedom to follow his own dreams, and to pursue vampiress, Dee, who has always intrigued him. He knows there’s more to Dee than the icy being she portrays, but will she give him a chance to know the real her?

There is unrest in the magical world. Fairies, a magical being thought to be long extinct, still exist. And the long-time feud between wizards and fairies threatens everyone Kurtis cares about, including his life coach, Alina, who has quickly become a close friend. And perhaps more. He discovers his connection to the ancient beings The Annunaki, the ancestors of wizards and fairies, may be key to the future. The more he uncovers, the more questions he has.

Will Kurtis choose to follow his heart or risk sacrificing his own happiness for peace in the magical world?



Evanston, Illinois
Present Day

It was an unspoken rule, among the many rules, in our house; we didn’t speak of my father. I wanted to please my grandfather, make him proud of me, and erase the pain my father caused. I knew the story of how I came to live with Waldor. But I didn’t know my father—beyond a hazy memory which was likely a dream and not a real memory at all. It would be fair to say I had no knowledge of him, no clue where he lived, no idea if he was even alive or dead. I knew even less of my mother. Waldor was my only parent, possibly the only person around with answers, and I couldn’t ask him any of my questions.

Thick, dusty tomes covered the scarred wooden table in the middle of the kitchen. Kurtis Warde brushed off the thick layer of grime coating one book and opened it up. The musty smell of an old book assaulted his senses as the cover opened with a reluctant creak. He doubted these ancient texts would even be applicable to modern wizardry. The days of adding “toe of frog” to “hair of dog” were long gone. Yes, incantations and spells created magic, but it evolved with the times. Kurtis considered himself to be a modern wizard. He liked technology and all the possibilities and potential that came with it. The Circle kept peace among the supernaturals and guarded the fragile barrier between the magical and human worlds. But providing magical security services and conflict resolution wasn’t exactly a glamorous job.

“How are you doing, my boy?”

Kurtis sat up straight in his chair. “Waldor, you startled me.”

“Which book are you reading?”

“Uh.” Kurtis checked the cover of the book. The History of Spell Making.

Waldor chuckled. “You might find The History of Wizardry more interesting.” He settled down into the chair next to Kurtis’. “It shows the development of the practice over the last three thousand years or so. You might be surprised to learn our ancient predecessors were actually quite advanced.”

Kurtis responded with a non-committal shrug.

“Even in the very beginning, wizards used the world, and elements around them, to create magic. Finding their strange abilities frightening, humans decided to hunt and destroy them, rather than seek understanding. We still encounter ignorance, but today’s humans see the ‘wizard’ as more of a fairy tale than a truth.”

“If you’ve already covered the book, then I guess I don’t have to read it?” Kurtis scowled and closed the book in front of him.
“You haven’t read any of these books yet, have you?” Waldor pointed to a book with a gilded cover, turning his palm up before raising his hand. The book levitated above the table and opened. The words, written in golden script, rose from the page and circled the room.

Kurtis’ head swiveled from one side of the room to the other as the words lined up into neat rows, hanging in mid-air. “What’s going on, Waldor?” he demanded.

“Magic, my boy, magic.” With a wave of his hands, Waldor released the book and set it down on the table. “Reach out and touch the words.”

Kurtis’ eyes widened. He extended his hand toward the golden words. As soon as his fingertips made contact, the words surrounded him like the funnel of a tornado. Amazingly enough, he absorbed and comprehended the entire text in a matter of minutes. Once he finished reading, the words returned to the book. Kurtis found himself speechless, although hundreds of questions ran through his mind.

“Magic, my boy.” Waldor nodded, his eyes filled with wisdom. “The answer you seek is magic.”

“But what does this,” Kurtis gestured toward the books on the table. “have to do with my training?”

“You must understand where we come from to know where we are going.”

“I get the history part—”

“Then you must continue.” Waldor stood. “And, in the meantime, be patient.”

Kurtis stared at the little particles of dust floating in the air. This is impossible. I’m more behind now than ever, like my training is running in reverse. At this rate…How will I ever get ahead? Anger welled up inside of him. He pounded one fist on the table, disturbing the books. One slid from a precariously stacked pile and landed in front of him. He read the words The Modern Wizard from the new and, surprisingly, dust-free, cover. Now we’re talking. Kurtis flipped open the book. The white, crisp pages were empty. He riffled through the rest of the book and discovered the whole book was blank.

As if by magic, a gold-tipped pen appeared on the table.

Kurtis smiled. This is the lesson. He knew what to do now. One by one, he absorbed the information from each ancient tome.

About the Author:

Maya Tyler writes paranormal romance with a twist. She believes in a happily-ever-after, but she likes to make her heroine and hero work for it. Mystery and action propel her stories forward.

Writing a book was her lifelong dream, which came true with the publication of her debut Dream Hunter. The dream continues with the release of her second book A Vampire’s Tale.

Maya is a testament that happily-ever-after doesn’t just exist in fiction. She loves life with her husband and two young sons in their little house in the country. There’s never a dull moment in a house full of boys! Life is good and writing is the cream cheese icing on the cake. It’s never too late to follow your heart and make your own dreams come true. We live in an era of infinite possibility.

• • •

• Find Maya Online •