“The Threat” — Excerpt from SIGHT UNSEEN (Witch Hollow)

 

What happens when you bring together the best independent forensic lab in the country, one of the leading pathologists and criminal profilers in the world, and a Federal agent with a very unique skill set, and a gun loaded with Slayer bullets?

Welcome to Witch Hollow!

sightunseencoverart

When a wealthy philanthropist is found dead in a locked room, with no apparent cause of death beyond the faint scent of incense, Dr. Faith MacKenzie and her team have their work cut out for them. As the case starts to go cold, she’ll be forced to turn to a man with abilities in which she can’t bring herself to believe, and credentials that leave her no choice but to accept the possibility he might just be on the level.

 

“The Threat” — Excerpt from SIGHT UNSEEN (Guardians, Inc: Witch Hollow, Book #1):

“We’re on the same side, here, Agent Caulder.” The man glanced down at the weapon laying on the table. “We both want this monster dead.”

“You threatened my partner. We’re not even close to on the same side.” Jonathan didn’t budge, his hand resting on the gun threateningly. No matter what this asshole thought, Jonathan was onto him. He knew way too much about the Crucibani to ever fall for their shit.

One silvered brow rose. “I thought your partner was that abomination Jason Guardian convinced the Vatican to release.”

No mistaking the derision in that description. While he didn’t worry about Reesha like he did Mac, Jonathan didn’t like the sound of that comment. “Her, too. You come near either one of them, again, and I’ll give you a brand new definition of Hell.”

The Crucibani assassin snorted, rising to his feet. “If Haliatus gets to either one of them, first, it is you who will know Hell, Agent Caulder, not I.  You really have no choice but to let me do what I was sent to do. Keep your…partner out of my way, and she’ll be safe.”

Jonathan swore a blue streak inwardly as he glared a hole in the back of the man’s retreating head. They both knew he couldn’t do anything more than threaten, unless the Crucibani broke the law, which they were always careful to never do. At least, not with witnesses or evidence around. If he wanted to catch this bastard, he was going to have to find a way to tell Mac the truth. And that would be a disaster of biblical proportions.

Look for the explosive first book of Guardians, Inc: Witch Hollow, SIGHT UNSEEN — coming from Esther Mitchell and Desert Breeze Publishing on October 11, 2016.

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“The Visitor” – Excerpt from DOUBLE TROUBLE (Guardians, Inc)

02 Double Trouble

 

When Jason Guardian left the Church, disillusioned by the cruel treatment of the Paras the Church chose to torture and destroy rather than understand, he never imagined he’d be forced to turn to the very Church he battles, to save the life of a woman who they would kill if they ever find out who she really is.

So who is this mystery woman, and can Jason overcome their past, to save her life?

“The Visitor” — Excerpted from DOUBLE TROUBLE (Guardians, Inc., Book #2) —

“Jason?  You have a visitor.”

Jason Guardian lifted his head in lackluster interest toward the sound of his assistant’s voice, and gave Kylie a vague nod, his mind a million miles away from what she said.  The information his mother e-mailed him this morning on ancient writings about the Ra Chalice filled his mind, instead.  Supposedly, the chalice was blessed by an ancient Egyptian priest to carry the power of the sun-god, Ra.  It could raise the dead, reverse the ravages of disease, even reverse the effects of the Undead Curse.  Of course, how much of that was real remained to be seen, but—

“Jason?”

Jason’s attention snapped up at the soft, lightly accented sound of a familiar voice, and his lungs stalled halfway through a drawn breath as he belatedly registered he did, indeed, have a visitor.  And not just any visitor.  “Yanamari.”

It seemed a lifetime since he uttered her name.  Even longer since he last saw her.  Yanamari Durango was the reason he joined the Church, the reason he fought demons, and, ultimately, the reason he lost the faith that held him to the Church.  And now she was back.  Bitter memory settled over Jason, and he swallowed it back with difficulty.

“What can I do for you?”

The sadness in her dark eyes was familiar, and roused an old feeling within his chest.  They were kids when she disappeared on him without even a good-bye.  How could she still have any effect at all on him?   But she did.

He could blame it on her witching ways, her Gypsy charms and spells, but he knew that wasn’t all of it.  His eyes skimmed her, taking in what changed, and what hadn’t, in eighteen years.   Still willowy, her body had the shape of a woman, now, rather than the girl she’d still been when he last saw her.  That body made him hungry for things he couldn’t have, and all of them started and ended with Mari.  Her midnight hair was shorter now, shorn to just below her shoulders, and he briefly mourned to loss of the glorious hair he spent so many hours tangling around his hands.  She was his Mari, and yet, not.  Her eyes were more wary than he’d ever seen them, and devoid of the guileless optimism at the heart and soul of the girl he knew.

Now, she perched on the edge of the chair opposite him, her shoulders tense and her back straight, like a frightened bird prepared to bolt with the slightest provocation.  And something in him rebelled at that image.

“Jason, I need your help.”

Her words yanked his attention back to her face, and what she was doing in his office after disappearing on him eighteen years ago.

“The Devil You Know” – Excerpt from DOUBLE TAKE (Guardians, Inc)

Meet one of the most interesting supporting characters I’ve ever written (I will neither confirm nor deny, at this point, whether or not he’s a villain…:D… You’ll have to read the book when it comes out, to find that out!)…

Victorien “Victor” Da Silva is my response to the over prevalence of totally unrealistic, “sexy” and completely irrelevant vampires that permeate the fiction market, today. He’s a 700-year-old Living Vampire (yes, there’s actually a distinction between Living and Revenant (undead) vampires) who is a powerful man, unapologetic about it, and yet, he sticks very strictly to the Covenant established that keeps the Para (paranormal creature/entity) community safely under the radar of most of the rest of the world. He’s got his own set of rules, and they have very little to do with our modern world. They are, instead, drawn from the world in which he Turned (not “was turned”… there’s a misnomer involved in that whole terminology), 700 years ago. And his slightly skewed, borderline sociopathic ethics bring him into constant conflict with the person he sees as his protégé (even if Jesse refuses to accept or acknowledge) over the rules.

I really love Victor. 🙂 Hope you do, too…

 

“The Devil You Know” — Excerpt from DOUBLE TAKE (Guardians, Inc, Book 1) —

“Damn it, Victor.  You know the rules.”

The chair behind the wide mahogany desk spun around to reveal a compact, square-featured man with the outward appearance of about sixty and the regal bearing that came with a long-forgotten aristocracy.  Jesse knew age was as much a façade as Victor’s apparent interest in politics.  A seven-hundred-year-old vampire wasn’t the slightest bit concerned with government.  He’d lived long enough to see it overthrown before.

“Jesse, my dear boy!”  Victorien Da Silva smiled, but it was cool and cordial.  Nothing more.  “Your mother would be appalled.  Don’t you knock?”

Jesse scowled.  He didn’t need the reminder Victor knew his mother.  He’d been playing this particular game too long.  “Daisy Claussen, Victor.”

“Definitely not your mother.”

“Leave my mother out of this, Victor.”  Jesse stalked up to plant his hands on the vampire’s desk.  He noted the disapproval in Victor’s frown, and laughed darkly.  “Tell me about Daisy Claussen.”

Blandly unconcerned pitch-black eyes lifted to Jesse’s.  “Who?”

“Don’t give me that shit, Victor.  You never stalk a victim you don’t know inside-out.”

“I prefer to call them lady friends.”

“Call them the Holy Mother, for all I care,” Jesse ground out.  “But start talking.”

Victor leaned back with a sigh of contentment, his expression unbothered.  “We know each other so well, don’t we, Jesse?”

As he watched Victor knowingly tap his own forearm, Jesse scowled.  He didn’t need reminded Victor saved his life, or how.

“Don’t even think about it.”  Jesse backed off a step and nudged aside his jacket to reveal his sidearm.  “You know what kind of ammo I’m packing.  Don’t give me a reason to use it.”

Cold humor danced in Victor’s eyes.  They both knew that, blessed or not, no bullet would stop Victor for long.  “Wouldn’t dream of it.”

Jesse settled into the seat across from Victor.  “Now, about Daisy Claussen…”