The Warlock pulled off the highway onto a dirt road running between two cornfields.
“This should be it,” he said, glancing down at the magic compass he’d brought along.
“Karen, you got Riviera’s token?”
“Right here,” she replied, patting the small white beaded purse in her lap. She was wearing a long-sleeved sea-green silk gown and long strings of pearls; the outfit must have dated back to the 1930s, and it looked good on her.
We got out of the Land Rover. The ground was soft and damp, so I was glad I wasn’t in high heels. The weird calliope music of my familiar Pal’s flying spell was loud overhead. I slung my backpack over my shoulder and began to follow Mother Karen and The Warlock down a corn row.
Cooper nudged my backpack. “You could leave that in the car, you know.”
“If something happens, it’s not going to do me a lot of good if it’s locked in the car a mile away.”
“The Seelies are probably just going to make you check it at the door.”
I shrugged. “Checked at the door is still closer than locked in the car.”
We came to a clearing where a battered old scarecrow hung crucified on a couple of rake handles. A cloud of dust rose as Pal touched down, and Cooper spoke an ancient word to turn off his invisibility.
A tin cup had been tied to the straw fingers of the scarecrow’s left hand. When we got within ten feet of the scarecrow, my stone ocularis started to itch in my skull. I blinked through to the gemview that had shown me the invisible door in Karen’s back yard. I saw an odd double-image of the scarecrow and a set of bronze-reinforced oak doors big enough to admit an elephant. Read more
There was a time when Persephone Alcmedi thought her life was hard to manage, what with wondering how to make sure she took adequate care of both her grandmother and her foster daughter, Beverley, whether she’d end up in the unwanted pos
ition of high priestess of a coven, and whether her wærewolf lover, Johnny, would resist the groupies who hang
around his band Lycanthropia.
But that was before the fairies started demanding that Seph’s frightening, unpredictable ally—the ancient vampire Menessos— be destroyed . . . or the world will suffer. Seph and Menessos are magically bonded, but that’s a secret she dares not reveal to her fellow witches lest they be forced to reject her and forbid her use of magic. And, despite the strain this casts on her relationship with Johnny, as a showdown with the fairies nears, she and Menessos badly need the wærewolves as allies.
Life, death, and love are all on the line, but when destiny is calling, it doesn’t help to turn away. With the individual threads of their fates twisted inextricably together, can Seph, Johnny, and Menessos keep the world safe from fairy vengeance?
My living room clock read two-forty-six a.m. It was no longer Hallowe’en night, but All Hallows Day. Or, as some called it, All Saints’ Day. But it was no saint who held me in his arms—it was a wærewolf.
“I think you’d like my apartment, Red.” Red. That’s me. Persephone Alcmedi to the rest of the world. Seph to some. Red only to Johnny, my not-exactly-Big-Bad-wærewolf. “It has that open-living concept.”
I wasn’t fooled. “It’s a glorified dorm room, isn’t it?”
“If, by ‘glorified,’ you mean it has a private bathroom, then yes.” Johnny sniffed, affecting annoyance. “Something I sacrificed when I moved in here.”
I’d had to forfeit my home’s vampire defenses three weeks ago to save a friend’s life, Johnny had temporarily moved into the third-floor attic room—for protection purposes only. In the three weeks since, those defenses had since been reinstated, but he’d remained. Being the epitome of “tall, dark, and handsome,” I hadn’t complained.
“C’mon.” Johnny’s deep blue eyes glittered seductively. His voice dropped low. “Nothing’s more romantic than a bachelor pad.” Read more
Maria lives a simple life in a small Polish village, working for the lord of the nearby fortress. Motherless since birth, Maria has been raised by her father and stepmother. Around her neck she wears—as she has always worn—a silver crucifix, to protect her from the devil. Or so her father tells her.
But when a contingent of badly mauled Teutonic knights, including a handsome and gravely wounded young man named Josef, ask for succor at the fortress, Maria’s quiet and comfortable world shatters. For the knights are Wolfjägers, an order dedicated to the extermination of werewolves, and Maria, unknowingly, is one of the creatures they hunt. Only the crucifix about her neck prevents her body from changing into a lethal killing machine.
When Maria meets Darien, a wolfbreed bent on exacting a terrible revenge on humans, she will learn the truth about herself, and find her loyalties—and her heart—torn in two.
Read the Excerpt
Interlude : Anno Domini 1333
Her name was Lucina, and she didn’t remember who had named her. She lived in the deepest woods east of Gród Narew, and lived mostly ignorant of the humans dwelling there. The people who lived on the fringes of these woods, especially those whose families had spent generations in its shadow, knew of her and her kind. Lucina’s ancestors haunted the tales that had been spoken of in hushed tones ever since the land had become Christian.
However, it had been a long time since Lucina had family. And a long time since her kind haunted these woods in any numbers. She was alone, and the tales of the old folks about wolves clothed in human skin had become less urgent, less of a deterrent for hungry men who needed to hunt for their family’s larder.
Lucina would watch these men as they made their weak attempts to hunt. Sometimes she would watch with the eyes of a wolf, sometimes with the eyes of a raven-haired maiden. She would watch them come into her wood, and more often than not, return empty-handed. Read more
DEMONS ARE A GIRL’S BEST FRIEND
By Linda Wisdom
Oh yeah, just another Saturday night hitting the clubs, watching the dancers, feeling blood stream out of my ears.” Maggie O’Malley winced as Static-X’s Destroyer screamed from the state-of-the-art speakers embedded in the club’s walls. Still, she couldn’t stop her hips from moving to the throbbing music. If she wasn’t there on business she would have been out there dancing. “Why don’t you just shoot me now?”
“Any females get naked yet?” the voice of Frebus, one of her team members, rumbled from the mic in her ear. “It’s only a matter of time ’til somebody gets caught up in the moment and starts tearing off their clothes. You gotta love shapeshifters cuz they’re always the first to get down and dirty.”
Maggie played idly with the crystal earring that dangled almost to her bare shoulders. She considered her jewelry a much better look for a mic and earpiece than the usual spy gear. If only she could mute the music for an hour. Or ten.
“Sorry sweetie, I’m only seeing half-naked, but think positive. The evening’s still young.” She grinned as she heard the low groan in her ear. Frebus and her other backup, Meech and Tita, were strategically placed around the interior, on the lookout for one particular degenerate in the sea of questionable characters.
She made her way through the hordes of glassy-eyed, gyrating dancers, skillfully avoiding the groping hands on her ass and breasts. She muttered a spell against any who returned for another feel. Nothing like a magickal zap to the genitals to spoil the mood. Judging from the yelps that followed her there were at least five who tried. Read more
As a criminal profiler, Tara used science and her intuitive skill at Tarot card divination to track down the dangerous and depraved, including the serial killer who left her scarred from head to toe. Since that savage attack, Tara has been a recluse. But now an ancient secret society known as Delphi’s Daughters has asked for her help in locating missing scientist Lowell Magnusson. And Tara, armed with her Tarot deck, her .38, and a stack of misgivings, agrees to try.
Tara immediately senses there is far more at stake than one man’s life. At his government lab in the New Mexico desert, Magnusson had developed groundbreaking technology with terrifying potential. Working alongside the brusque but charismatic agent Harry Li, Tara discovers that Magnusson’s daughter, Cassie, has knowledge that makes her a target too. The more Tara sees into the future, the more there is to fear. She knows she has to protect Cassie. But there may be no way to protect herself—from the enemies circling around her, or from the long-buried powers stirring to life within. . . . Read more
Alexa Wells wants her life back. She’s just not sure what that life was. The memories inside her head—a stripper’s—aren’t hers, and before she humiliates herself onstage one more time, she sets out to collect the scattered pieces of her mind. The trail leads to Boston, charges of identity theft and murder, and the real bombshell: a forgotten werewolf lover who insists she’s a werewolf hybrid.
Matt York doesn’t care that she looks at him like he’s been smoking crack between court cases. Now that he has her back he’s not about to let her go it alone, even if she can easily kick ass and take names all by herself. Amnesia only scratches the surface of her problems, and like it or not, she’s stuck with him.
She’s also stuck with Robert Gamboldt, a venture capitalist who’s not above murdering his way to the top. He’s not about to lose his prize possession without playing dirty. It’s a simple enough offer. Be his personal assassin, or go to jail.
With options like that, it’s enough to make a hybrid go full-blood.
Warning: Delicious sexual tension with a werewolf who’ll wait as long as it takes for his hybrid werewolf mate to come around. Read more
She’s lured into a restaurant, Mongolian Delites, by tortured mastermind Sterling Packard, who promises he can teach her to channel her fears. In exchange, she must join his team of disillusionists – vigilantes hired by crime victims to zing their anxieties into criminals, resulting in collapse and transformation.
Justine isn’t interested in Packard’s troupe until she gets a taste of the peace he can promise. Soon she enters the thrilling world of neurotic crime fighters who battle Midcity’s depraved and paranormal criminals.
Eventually, though, she starts wondering why Packard hasn’t set foot outside the Mongolian Delites restaurant for eight years. And about the true nature of the disillusionists. Read more
Unemployment, despair, anger–visible and invisible unrest feed the undercurrent of Detroit’s unease. A city increasingly invaded by phantoms now faces a malevolent force that further stokes fear and chaos throughout the city.
Anya Kalinczyk spends her days as an arson investigator with the Detroit Fire Department, and her nights pursuing malicious spirits with a team of eccentric ghost hunters. Anya–who is the rarest type of psychic medium, a Lantern–suspects a supernatural arsonist is setting blazes to summon a fiery ancient entity that will leave the city in cinders. By Devil’s Night, the spell will be complete, unless Anya–with the help of her salamander familiar and the paranormal investigating team –can stop it.
Anya’s accustomed to danger and believes herself inured to loneliness and loss. But this time she’s risking everything: her city, her soul, and a man who sees and accepts her for everything she is. Keeping all three safe will be the biggest challenge she’s ever faced. Read more
Being a witch doesn’t pay the bills, but Persephone Alcmedi gets by between reading Tarot cards, writing her syndicated newspaper column, and kenneling werewolves in the basement when the moon is full–even if witches aren’t supposed to mingle with wolves. She really reaches the end of her leash, though, when her grandmother gets kicked out of the nursing home, and Seph finds herself in the doghouse about some things she’s written. Then her werewolf friend Lorrie is murdered…and the high priestess of an important coven offers Seph big money to destroy the killer, a powerful vampire named Goliath Kline. Seph is a tough girl, but this time she bites off more than she can chew. She needs a little help from her friends–werewolf friends. One of those friends, Johnny, the motorcycle-riding lead singer for the techno-metal-Goth band Lycanthropia, has a crush on her. And while Seph has always been on edge around this 6′2″ leather-clad hunk, she’s starting to realize that while their attraction may be dangerous, nothing could be as lethal as the showdown that awaits them. Read more