“The Hero’s Geis” – Excerpt from HOPE OF HEAVEN (Project Prometheus)

Their mission is to search out and bring down those who trade in terrorism, fear, and human suffering by whatever means necessary.  To do this, they must be willing to give up their freedom, and even their lives. They are a mercenary unit with a mission, and a motivation that has nothing to do with what they get paid, and everything to do with the innocent lives they save. Meet the men and women of…

Project Prometheus

Peter Talladay swore he’d never return to Ireland alive, until a battle with a demon in Iraq left him certain he would die a broken man. But when his boss’ wife calls in an expert on demons, and a withering disdain for mercenaries, Peter’s found a new reason to live. Now, if he can only convince determined-to-hate him Hope MacKenzie to trust him, Peter may still find the peace he’s long believed lost to him.

“The Hero’s Geis” – Excerpt from HOPE OF HEAVEN (Project Prometheus, Book 2) —

Peter stared thoughtfully out the window as he hung up the phone. J.R. sounded like a kid at Christmas once Peter explained his reason for calling. He rattled on excitedly about what a find they unearthed, until Peter began to wonder why only he was uneasy about this discovery. The information J.R. gave him sounded familiar — almost eerily so. Peter shivered as a chill ran down his spine. Had Sinead told him those tales before? He couldn’t remember.

Peter crossed the office to the door, and made his way toward Hope’s room. A wry grin crossed his face as he neared the closed door. Ever true to her inquisitive nature, Hope ensconced herself in her room with Sinead’s journals and books hours ago, the same excited determination in her eyes she met every challenge with. Peter shook his head in amusement. Hope was amazing, with her vibrancy and absolute determination to never fail, no matter how hard the course. She was a woman a man should be proud to have by his side. Hope MacKenzie had staying power. Bowers was a fool, Peter decided darkly. He hated the man for using Hope’s innocence, for tainting her faith in men with his cruelty. Peter hated Bowers with everything in him, because he hurt Hope.

With a grimace, Peter marshaled control of his not-so-sudden desire to kill Robert Bowers and knocked at Hope’s bedroom door. A laugh answered him from the room’s interior.

“You know you don’t have to knock, Peter,” she called out. “Come on in!”

He nearly laughed as he opened the door to a room covered in open books and piles of paper and notebooks. “Did we have a cyclone I’m unaware of?”

She offered him an impish grin in response, her face awash with an enchanting blush. “This is amazing stuff. Your mother recorded practically every waking moment of her entire life.”

Memory, like a bittersweet arrow, lanced Peter, accompanied by images of Sinead at the end of a long day, settled into her favorite rocking chair with one of her ever-present notebooks, the sitting room fireplace crackling merrily. She called those moments her labor of love. He never understood what she meant until this moment. These notebooks were precious, his connection to the woman he never really let himself know.

“Aye,” Peter whispered around the sudden lump of emotion lodged in his throat. Swallowing hard, he changed the subject. “J.R. is going to e-mail me information he thinks will help us either prove or disprove your theory as soon as he gets back from Libya.”

“What’s he doing there?” Hope was distracted, her nose buried in a book on Celtic mythology.

“He didn’t say, but it sounded like it was probably covert and dangerous.” Peter shook his head sadly. “J.R. never did learn when enough was enough, and–”

“Oh, wow! Look at this, Peter,” Hope broke in excitedly as she waved him nearer.

“Find something?” Ironic humor touched his voice. She obviously didn’t hear a word he said.

She laughed. “Oh, yeah. Listen to this: ‘The Celtic hero myth is characterized by the belief that the hero is both mortal and immortal. He is often slain in battle, but just as often resurrected by some power or object. Such is often the case when the hero is slain to repay some great debt, called a geis, as in the tale of,’ ” she drew a deep breath, and triumph flickered across her face, ” ‘Cuchulainn!’ It says that Celtic heroes are resurrected at times when they’re needed again. Amazing stuff, huh?”

“Certainly beats cryogenics.” Peter propped one hip against her desk to bury the pain that slashed through his head, and weakened his knees.

“Peter!” She scolded him, though she didn’t appear angry. “Don’t you see? Cuchulainn was known as the Lance Lord, and mythology suggests that he’ll be reborn at a time of great darkness.”

A scowl darkened Peter’s face. This all made a fascinating fairy tale, but he already knew that was all it was. Real life didn’t work that way; there wasn’t any savior waiting in the wings.

“So where was he in Nineteen-twenty-one, when Ireland was tearing herself apart at the seams?” As he saw the wounded anger in Hope’s eyes, he winced. She clearly still believed in heroes, and the power of faith. He didn’t have the heart for the truth, but he couldn’t lie to her, either. “Sorry, love. It’s not that I don’t believe in the supernatural. I can believe in spirits and Faeries and Bean Si, but once you’re dead, the condition is rather permanent.”

“Says who?” She challenged, her chin tilted defiantly. “You did it, didn’t you? And Matt Raleigh was a dead man in Lebanon, but love brought him back. Who’s to say there’s not some force capable of bringing the dead back to life?”

I do,” he rasped tightly. His fists clenched as he fought the pain that plunged through his head, and his soul. “I prayed for a miracle, for the lives of the three people who were my life to be returned to me, once. They’re still dead. There’s not a power in the universe that can raise the dead.”

Pick up your copy of Hope of Heaven, today from Desert Breeze Publishing. Find out how it all begins, with In Her Name, also available now, from Desert Breeze Publishing!

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