SIGHT UNSEEN available for sale!

I am super excited and pleased to announce that Guardians, Inc: Witch Hollow’s debut book, SIGHT UNSEEN, is now available for sale!

If you’ve been waiting for this book, it’s finally here! You can pick up your copy of the e-book today at any of the following locations:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Desert Breeze Publishing

All Romance Ebooks

Hopefully, it’ll be available in print very soon. I will keep you posted on that front.

If you want to know what the book is about, keep reading:

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!

When a wealthy philanthropist is found dead in a locked room, in the midst of a series of bizarre murders, 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.

sightunseencoverart

 

 

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“Deals with the Devil” – Excerpt from BODY OF EVIDENCE (Guardians, Inc: Witch Hollow)

BoEWhat 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!

When kidnapping turns to murder, the hunt could turn from dangerous to deadly for Dr. Faith MacKenzie and her team. A four-year-old cold serial kidnapping cold case is red-hot again, with fresh bodies turning up at a ten-year-old crime scene, and the daughter of a wealthy Witch Hollow family is abducted in broad daylight. Now, time is running out for Elizabeth Prescott, and the price of failure could also mean the life of a man Faith’s partner seems strangely determined is innocent.

“Deals with the Devil” — Excerpt from BODY OF EVIDENCE (Guardians, Inc: Witch Hollow, Book 6) —

Faith pushed open the heavy, steel door to the abandoned garage warily, shining her flashlight into the dark interior. Her heart thudded harshly against her ribs, and she struggled to keep her breathing slow and even. She knew coming here alone wasn’t a smart idea, but she didn’t have a choice. She didn’t run the statistics for survival in her head – she didn’t want to know how much danger she was in.

“Hello?” She called into the darkness, uncertain who she was supposed to meet, or what she’d find, here. She didn’t want to think she’d been lured her to discover Elizabeth Prescott’s dead body any more than she wanted to contemplate whether she was walking into her own death. She had to stay focused on what she did know, and the only clue she had was that someone claimed to know what happened to Elizabeth.

No one answered her, and Faith steeled herself, then pushed the door open even further, until the sparse street lights filtered into the building ahead of her. Then, with a resolute breath, Faith took a cautious step inside the building, swinging her flashlight in a wide arc, illuminating empty garage bays full of stagnant, algae-filled water, stacks of tires that looked like they’d been slowly rotting away since Katrina, and electrical fixtures that could probably double as electrocution devices, if there was even still a current running to them. Hisses and chittering noises in the dark told her the only inhabitants were probably local wildlife – none of which she was particularly wild about meeting – though an eerie sense she wasn’t alone crawled along her spine.

“Anyone here?”

“Are you alone?” Rasped a breathy voice from the shadows beyond where Faith’s flashlight could reach, sending another shiver down her spine. She was reminded of the Prescott crypt, and the strange, ominous presence of Marie Prescott.

“Yes,” she managed, careful to keep her voice calm and unafraid. She needed to keep the upper hand, and that meant showing no fear.

“Good.” The voice, stronger and deeper, suddenly came from directly behind her, and the heavy door slammed shut. Faith jumped, her self-reminder about showing no fear fleeing as a shadow loomed over her, and her flashlight went out, plunging the room into pitch dark. Then, before she could draw another breath – never mind move – a large hand closed around her throat, and she was tossed across the room, to bounce off a stack of tires and drop to the floor with enough force her head impacted the concrete, and the darkness swam before her eyes, closing in around her with suffocating speed. As heavy, rubber objects – the tires, most likely – pelted down on her, drawing groans of pain with each impact, one final thought sparked through her mind. At least she slipped Jonathan the note. Even if she died here, someone would find her. Jonathan would avenge her.

“Fated” – Excerpt from DARK DESTINY (Project Prometheus)

Project Prometheus BadgeSometimes, being a ghost is the only way to get the job done.  Shayne Richards took her job to heart. She gave up her identity and any connection to her life in order to get close to her target – the Tarantula Brigade’s elusive leader, Dimitri Lapinov.  When his trail leads her to the paradise of Hawaii, Shayne’s about to discover a side of herself that could terrify her more than her target.  A charming man with a daring proposition draws Shayne into the middle of a dangerous game, and she might just find herself unable to choose between the oath she swore to uphold, and the man she’s come to love.

“Fated” – Excerpt from DARK DESTINY (Project Prometheus)-

This was dangerous.  Too bad danger was her middle name.  Shayne smirked as she crept toward the bungalow, the day’s humidity clinging to her in a light film.  Hawaii was the last place she expected to find a monster, but she followed his trail here, and she was determined to take out this terror everyone talked about.  After all, he was the reason she killed herself, she thought with a derisive chuckle.

Her breath shallowed as she neared the small building.  Rumor had it that Dimitri Lapinov had senses unlike any other man.  That he was a hundred years old, and could kill a man – or a woman – from hundreds of miles away.  She snorted softly.  She’d believe it when she saw it.

Light danced through the window nearest her, and Shayne’s heart pounded as she edged up to the opening and peeked inside.  As she did, her heart froze, and her lungs constricted as every drop of blood fled her face.

Shit, shit, shit! It was him! Her mind flashed back, and she groaned as she remembered the handsome, scarred man she literally ran into in the hotel lobby two days ago.  An evening of too much drinking, and one incautious comment, and she ended up in bed with a stranger.  The same man she was hunting, apparently.  She blinked, forced herself to draw air against the redness creeping into her vision, then blinked again as she realized the room before her was now empty.  Where the devil had he gone?

“You are looking for me, da?”  His heavily accented voice, against her ear, sent a shiver equal parts dread and desire through her.  Slowly, Shayne turned, and her breath sighed away from her lips as she stared up into dark eyes, made darker still by the troubled scowl on his scarred face.  Oh, yeah.  She was in big trouble, now.

Pick up your copy of the book that started a legend, today — IN HER NAME, available from Desert Breeze Publishing!

“Unholy Blood” – 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.

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

 

 

 

“Unholy Blood” – excerpted from DOUBLE TROUBLE (Guardians, Inc., Book 2) –

 

Jason blinked in the dim lighting of the warehouse.  He could hear breathing, and he knew the Crucibani was in here.  He resisted the urge to swear.  He didn’t need this.  He needed to be out there, looking for the chalice, not dealing with religious fanatics.  If he didn’t have a feeling the two were interlinked…

“Jason!”

Shit.  That was Mari, her voice thin and frantic. As his vision adjusted to the lack of light, he saw her, and his blood ran cold.  The man he followed in here was nothing more than a lure.  There were four Crucibani in a half-circle in the center of the building, and one of them held Mari motionless, a knife pressed to her throat.

“Let her go,” he commanded, taking a step forward.  Mari sucked in a loud breath and stiffened.  Jason froze at that sound, as the knife at her throat drew a trickle of blood.

The black-clad man who held her only laughed, the sound a sinister echo in the empty warehouse.  “You have no authority here, Guardian.”

“She’s not involved in this.  She’s not the one you want.”

The Crucibani’s eyes narrowed, and he tightened his grip on Mari – Jason could tell by the tiny, stifled cry she made.  “Oh, I want the bitch.  I want to slit her foul little throat right here.”

“She’s not—“

“She’s not human.  She’s an evil creature, a daughter of the Devil.”

Mari drew herself up at those words, and Jason had never loved her more than when he saw the trembling courage on her face.  Yanamari Durango was no daughter of the Devil, but Ana – Ana claimed dominion over the demons of the Romany.  There was some part of Ana in Mari, the memory of another lifetime, a piece of her demonic essence.  But Ana was not Mari.  Not the Mari he knew, who nursed wounded animals, refused to eat animal flesh of any kind, and took in stray people and animals.  And all he could do was plead for that woman’s life.

“Mari isn’t evil –“

Another of the men stepped forward, brandishing a cross and a sword.  “You will bow to the power of the Lord, or suffer His wrath!”

Dark humor edged through Jason.  This was an old argument – one he was several decades tired of.  “Not today.”

“By the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, the power of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, I deliver God’s justice.”  He turned toward Mari, the sword at the ready, and pressed the crucifix to her forehead.  Mari stilled, and Jason barely resisted the urge to laugh.  Didn’t these idiots know Mari wore a Romany cross around her neck?

When Mari failed to respond the way he expected her to, the man backed off, glaring.  “What witchery is this?”

“It’s not witchery.”  Jason took another step forward.  “You don’t have the authority to take her life.  Can’t you see?  The Crucible Society doesn’t deliver God’s justice.  They maintain some warped theory of the Church’s supremacy.”

“Blasphemer!”  One of the other men moved forward, his dark eyes crazed with religious fervor.  “The Crucibani deliver the will of God.”

Jason resisted the urge to sigh.  He was so tired of this game.  “Only if you’re a brainless moron who sees bloodshed as a holy crusade.  This isn’t the will of any god, or even of the Catholic Church.”

“The Gathering Storm” – Excerpt from IN HER NAME (Project Prometheus)

InHerNameCoverArtIf you’ve been wondering how Project Prometheus came to be… The story starts in 9000 BCE, when five Elders of a Temple charged with maintaining the balance between our world and the Otherworld faced a fierce army of invaders, led by a power-hungry priest determined to become a god. With each reincarnation of the Elders, the battle for the portal between worlds has grown closer. But it all began with a storm…

“The Gathering Storm” – Excerpted from Project Prometheus: IN HER NAME

Aermórnosa, Ali-Antos, 9000 B.C.E.

A storm brewed on the horizon.  From the turret above the city walls, Sargon could see its fury out over the sea.  Electricity prickled along his arms and neck, and he knew this was no ordinary storm.  Energy hummed on the wind that carried in from the sea. Already the waves grew high and violent around the port of the city below.  This was a storm forged of magical power, and that meant only one thing…

            “They are coming.”

            The Akkadian didn’t need to turn to know that four others joined him along the high turret walls.  They were joined by bonds of power, the power they had sworn to protect, he and these other Elders.  Each had left home and family, casting aside their pasts for this calling.  As one, they felt this moment arrive, and they were not surprised.

            “Onuris has gathered his faithful.  The Brotherhood are on the waves,” the voice that spoke beside him was deep and steady, though touched with a concern that caused Sargon’s brow to raise as he turned his gaze from the rapidly darkening sky to the giant at his right.  Lugh was a wise man, known to speak his mind.  Lugh’s talented hands crafted the magic that protected them all, and only he knew the correct combination of nine elemental properties that created that magic.  And Lugh, the master craftsman, had molded the sacred objects housed within the Crophines Astenim.

            Sargon turned restlessly to face the ocean once again as the ground rumbled beneath his feet.  He didn’t like this.  It took a tremendous amount of power to disrupt an entire ocean.

            “They are stronger than we believed.”  This came from behind him, the only female voice among them.  The Gatekeeper, Csilla, stepped forward, her soft tones wavering with the tension they all felt.  This was the moment they all dreaded, the moment when time returned to them.  Death was not an option as long as their charges remained unhidden.

            Through Sargon pulsed the flame of battle, and he could hear the drums of war growing louder.  Onuris glutted his minions on the blood of nations, filled his own greedy maw with the souls of the dead and damned until his power rivaled even the Gods’.  Still, Onuris wanted more.  He wanted the Portal of Kronos to make himself immortal.

            Sargon’s eyes narrowed.  He would see to it that Onuris never unlocked the Portal or any of the secrets of Aermórnosa.  His mazes and traps lined the walls and floors of the Crophines, and Lugh’s magic sealed over those.  Still, the artifacts remained.  They must make certain the artifacts, which opened the Portal, could not be reached and put into the hands of Onuris or his Brotherhood.

            “We must go.”  Mykalos, their Healer, voiced his very thought.

            Sargon nodded.  “Our charges must not remain on the island.  Take all but the fifth key.  Take your charges and hide them far away from this place and use whatever means you must to make certain they do not fall into the Brotherhood’s hands.”

            He turned to study each face in turn and knew they thought as he did.  Once they left this place, the time they once abandoned in their service would begin again and they would possess only one immortality – the very thing that Onuris fed on – their souls.

            Grimly aware of the closing jaws of Fate, Sargon pushed away from the wall and strode toward the Crophines.  As the First Elder, Prometheus gave up his immortality and risked the wrath of the Gods to save humanity from the darkness, so too would they risk the same to preserve creation from destruction.  It was a price he knew they all paid willingly.

Like what you read here?  You can find IN HER NAME at Desert Breeze Publishing! 

“Unknown Variable” — Excerpt from IN HER NAME (Project Prometheus)

InHerNameCoverArt

Every story has a beginning. While Project Prometheus’ beginning is thousands of years in the past, Matt and Manara’s story starts not quite so long ago… with a brutal slaying, and a dangerous mission. Problem is, only one of them knows exactly how dangerous this mission really is…

“Unknown Variable” – Excerpt from IN HER NAME (Project Prometheus, Book 1) —
January 2, 2000

The noonday sun glinted off the Mediterranean Sea in sapphire and diamond shafts, reflecting light against dark sunglasses. Salty seawater sprayed up against the prow of the sleek speedboat, carrying with it the pungency of fish and seaweed. His jaw clenched as he shifted gears, watching the shimmer of approaching land dance in and out of view like a desert mirage.

Sidon. Matthew Raleigh’s stomach clenched with bitter memory. He was well-acquainted with the deceptively quiet Lebanese city. He’d been here too many times in a past that he’d just as soon forget as a Navy SEa, Air and Land operative on prowl-and-growl missions. His lips curved in a wry grimace. He wasn’t a SEAL anymore — there was at least that much mercy left in the world. Not that what he did these days brought him much peace either. Good thing he wasn’t looking for peace anymore. To deaden the pain in his soul and help reduce the nightmares that regularly stole away sleep, he formed Project Prometheus — a special mercenary organization dedicated to ending terrorism. A futile enough cause. He scowled. The men who’d hired Prometheus’ mercenaries had business in Lebanon. Scum was still scum. That never changed.

Matt pulled his mind from the dark thoughts creeping in; he needed to concentrate on the mission. Was the team ready? He brought them in under the cover of night yesterday. He hoped they made it to the pre-arranged safe house but he had no way of being sure. They were on radio silence and for safety’s sake, he couldn’t go to find them until he was ready to join them. Matt glanced at his wristwatch. Besides, he was already on his way to meet with their CIA contact, codenamed Star.

Uneasiness clutched Matt. He didn’t like that no one at Langley had ever actually seen Star. There was no picture, not even a physical description, though the Agency claimed Star was a miracle worker. Matt scowled. He didn’t believe in miracles or miracle workers. From the little Matt knew, he surmised Star was an important figure in Lebanon, well connected with an extensive knowledge of the local area. Matt also guessed Star, whoever he was, probably had connections to arms dealers or some other dubious operation. Great. Just what they needed; a contact they couldn’t trust.

Find out more about the mission. Pick up your copy of IN HER NAME, today! And look for the continuation of Project Prometheus with HOPE OF HEAVEN, coming in 2015!

“Death in Storage” — Excerpt from NOBODY’S BABY (Guardians, Inc.: Witch Hollow)

WH08 Nobodys Baby CoverWhat 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!

The body of a six-month-old baby is found in the snow-covered alleyway behind a rural veterinarian clinic in Virginia, and the calling card left at the scene indicates this crime might be part of a terrible, unexplained ritual. Faith and her team are called in to investigate, but Faith’s got a secret, and a personal stake in this case. When they uncover the truth, it will shake Faith to the core, and bring her up against a secret she can’t hope to keep forever.

 
“Death in Storage” — Excerpt from NOBODY’S BABY (Guardians, Inc.: Witch Hollow, Book 8) —
 
Faith drew a breath against the sadness she couldn’t afford to feel, right now. Her eyes closed for a moment. Then, pushing her emotions back, she looked up at Jonathan from where she crouched by the dead woman’s side. “I think we just answered the question of why no one was missing that baby.”

Anger followed shock and horror across his face, before he crouched beside her. “How can you tell?”

She had to swallow. This was getting far too close to home. “This woman gave birth within minutes to hours before she was killed. What’s left of the abdomen is still distended, and there’s still evidence of both cervical and pelvic dilation. Given the amount of dried blood and lack of direct puncture injury—“

“Okay, I get it.” He glanced up, his gaze sweeping the empty storage unit. “There’s nothing here. Why would a woman who’s about to give birth be in an empty storage unit?”

Faith kept silent, watching him. She knew him well enough to know he often thought aloud. She continued to watch him as he rose from his crouched position and slowly paced the length of the wall. The furrow of his brow as he came to an abrupt stop told her something troubled him.

“What are you thinking, Jonathan?”

“There was a bed here.” He gestured to the general area of one back corner. He crouched again, lifting something in one gloved hand to dangle from his fingers as a scowl darkened his features. “Hey, Mac?”

“What?”

“Do you see any signs Jane Doe there was bound?”

Faith lifted one wrist, then the other, and moved to the woman’s feet. “Yes. Both wrists and ankles show bruising consistent with long-term restraint.”

“Goddamn bastard,” Jonathan growled, even as he gestured for one of the techs to bring him an evidence bag. “He kept her chained to the bed. How long, do you think?”

She shook her head. He knew better than to ask that. “There’s no way to know until I have a chance to do a full autopsy and inspection of the tissue and bones.”

“Best guess, Mac. That’s all I’m asking for. Give me somewhere to start.”

Faith sighed, but leaned closer to the ankles. “Judging by lividity and the deep welts in these bruises, I’d estimate at least several months.” Her gaze shot up to him, then, as a terrifying thought grabbed hold. “You don’t think she’s been here for her entire pregnancy, do you?”

The grim set of his features was all the answer she needed. As her gaze returned to the woman on the floor before her, Faith acknowledged how dangerous this case just became.