Category Archives: fantasy

Have I got some books for you!

I met Rachel Rawlings last October at Hallowread – an interactive convention for both authors and fans of the Paranormal/Urban Fantasy and Horror genres and set us in Ellicott City, Maryland, a place often called one of the most haunted small towns in the US! It was my first appearance anywhere as a writer and she helped make the entire weekend a real joy and a bit spooky! She’s also a fabulous writer. She has a series of books out The Maurin Kincaide Series, that readers who like stories of the supernatural, paranormal intrigue and a little mystery thrown into the mix will very much enjoy.

Ill Fated, the latest release in the series is coming this October. Check out the other books in the series. You’ve got time to catch up!

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Some things are destined to end in death. After the first attempt on her life Maurin wasn’t scared. Hell, she was almost flattered. But someone put a price on her head and things are getting complicated. Trouble is brewing in the fae courts and it’s spilling over into Salem. The UnSeelie Dark Guard have answered the call for her head on a platter and people closest to her are disappearing.

Can Maurin master court politics and find her missing men before someone claims the bounty on her head?

 

Intriguing, yes? I think so.

The other books in the series are:

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The Morrigna: Maurin Kincaide is a psychometric investigator for Salem’s Supernatural Task Force. She’s spent the last few years working crime scenes and using the memory links in fingerprints to catch criminals. 

When the current bad guy turns out to be a demon, Maurin must work with Seamus–the task force’s prime suspect for unleashing said demon. She follows Seamus deeper into the supernatural community and discovers there’s a lot more going on than anyone guessed. 

Our unique investigator is quickly enlisted from her day job by the Council, a secret governing body of all things Other. They want her to find out more about the abundance of demons in Salem and who might be controlling them…

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Witch Hunt: Maurin Kincaide is back in this action packed follow up novel to The Morrigna. No longer a member of Salem’s Preternatural Task Force Maurin is the new liaison for The Council, governing body of Others. During what should have been a routine meeting with her former Captain, Maurin is brought in on a murder investigation. Three dead witches, three cryptic clues, no sign of the killers and the Salem coven is losing allies within the Council. If Maurin and her unlikely partner Captain Matthison can’t stop the killers, the Witch City might be without its namesake.

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Wolfsbane: Given the choice between her sister’s wedding and witnessing the challenge for Alpha of the Salem pack, Maurin knows exactly where she’d rather be. Smack dead center in a pack of snarling werewolves wearing eau de filet mignon. 

Until Francesca takes off the morning of her wedding. Being her sister’s keeper will not excuse her from her job as the Council Liaison. Torn between obligations to a family she’s avoided for almost a decade and the Council of Others, Maurin has less than twenty-four hours to set things right.

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Blood Bath: A serial killer in Salem? Not for decades, but the bodies are piling up and all signs point in one direction. Rogue vampire. Except things aren’t always what they seem, especially in a murder investigation. 

With her current relationship on the rocks, her father playing match-maker and her neighbor tossing his hat in the ring, the body count isn’t the only thing on the rise. Maurin is neck deep in magic, mayhem and murder. 

Can she catch the killer before the killer catches her? One thing’s for certain, when hunting vampires there will be blood.

You can find all Rachel’s books here: Rachel Rawlings on Amazon

 

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Aiden’s War, Chapter Six – A Race South

You can find Chapters 1-5 in the tab up top, Aiden’s War – http://jm-harrison.com/aidens-war

Chapter Six – A race south

The tracks hugged the wood-line south. Numerous horse hooves, too many to distinguish their exact number, left sharp imprints in the soft ground. It had only just rained a few days ago and in the shade of the forest, the ground hadn’t dried yet.

Aiden raced on. Setting his pace at a little more than an easy jog. He would run until he couldn’t see the soft marks anymore when night came. The rill ran not too far off on his right. There were reeds and dried grasses. He could make a torch without too much difficulty. He had flint to strike a spark. Even without a torch, his night sight was almost as sharp as in daylight. They would stop, he felt sure. He would not.

He ran and didn’t pause or even slow, except a few times when he found the track running along the rill. He paused to drink, maybe as they had paused to water the horses, before he went on. He ignored the growing pain in his legs, the sweat that soon sheathed his body and dampened his clothes. He kept his breath as even as he could and kept going even after it felt like his lungs might burst.

The day started to dwindle as evening settled over the land and cast lengthening shadows into the wood. Overhead, a swoop and chitter of birds flew along with him. He realized he couldn’t hear them over the noise of him gasping for air. He pounded to a halt and leaned on his knees. That didn’t last as the ground caught him as he fell. Black spots swam before his eyes. His heart pounded in his chest, but he dragged to his feet and started walking. He forced slow, measured gasps of air in and out in an attempt to recover his senses.

He became aware of the sound of hooves striking the ground some distance behind him and off to his left. Someone was riding at the tree line, more than one it sounded like, coming on fairly fast. The trees were thin where he was now, few and not one of them large enough to hide behind. He had to find cover quickly. The bank of the rill was the only alternative. He grabbed a protruding root and slid down the muddy sides and stopped just shy of the water’s edge, trying hard to catch his breath. He needed to know who was following him and pulled himself up to peer over a clump of reeds.

He couldn’t believe it when he saw her, the flaming red hair leaving no doubt that his sister had come after him. Aiden turned around, his back pressed into the embankment, swearing as he stared at the sky in disbelief. He saw at a glance that she had both horses and had to wonder how she’d gotten off the farm with them.

He swore under his breath again. She was nearly abreast of his hiding place and would ride right by him if he let her. For a moment, he thought he should. Surely, after a day of not finding him, she’d give up. The risk that she might catch up to Jaelith’s captors and end up in trouble herself put a quick stop to that thought. He was still swearing when he called her name.

“Krysta!”

She pulled to a stop, reining her mount down by turning him in a tight circle. The animal danced around the other as she searched the wood. Her eyes closed in relief when she saw him.

“I can’t believe you!”

“Did you really think—”

“You’re not coming with me,” he said, grabbing Flash’s rein from her. “You can’t. It’s too dangerous. Mother and Father need you at home.”

“I talked to Father. He wanted me to—”

“I’m not going back,” Aiden said.

“Neither am I,” Krysta said and wouldn’t listen to reason from that moment forward.

Nothing his said changed her mind. The passage of the day beat against his thoughts. The delay she was causing him was infuriating. The longer he stood there arguing with her, the larger the gap grew between he and those he pursued. There wasn’t anything to do for it except go on. She wouldn’t go home. He couldn’t leave her. He pulled himself up onto Flash and with Krysta beside him, set off after the trail.

He made better time riding. The tracks in the soft ground soon showed signs of more recent passage, but still Jaelith’s kidnappers remained ahead of him. Hours later, light left the sky. With the horses, it wasn’t possible to keep going and Aiden resented it, even though he had to admit that he couldn’t see the tracks left by the troop. If he kept going, he could miss it if they turned. He told himself that they had the same restrictions of movement. Their horses would tire and need the same rest.  Not that a pack of men capable of kidnapping an innocent woman would care so much.

A cold knot of dread centered in his chest over the choice he had to make. He reined to a halt, thinking over his options while Krysta drew up beside him.  She started looking around the area, dense forest surrounded them with cutting rocks strewn across the forest floor. Bramble weeds covered everything else. This wouldn’t make a comfortable campsite.

Or a safe one, Aiden thought, nodding to his sister. He turned his horse for the bank of the rill, careful to guide the animal across hard packed ground less likely to take marks. He didn’t want to be found. They crossed the rill and backtracked to a clearing where the horses could eat grass. Aiden strung a rope around the trees, making a pen. Before it was fully dark, they had the camp set and the horses tended.

Krysta solved another problem by pulling from her pack a ration of dried meat, along with a few carrots from the garden. None of it needed flame to be eaten, which was good, since Aiden didn’t intend to start a fire. They ate in silence. He was too preoccupied with what tomorrow might bring and too terrified of what Jaelith might be enduring at the hands of her captors.

“We’ll find her,” Krysta said.

He turned and saw through the dark the glint of her eyes as she watched him. She leaned against her saddle, one arm under her head. He wanted to believe her. “Why would anyone even take her?”

Krysta pulled in a breath as if to answer, but she looked away and shook her head, making him think for a moment that she knew something. “They probably mean to sell her.”

That was a common enough occurrence, as horrible as it was. That was the way of the world, but he didn’t think it was so in this case, even when he had nothing more than instinct to tell him differently. He supposed it didn’t matter why.

“Get some sleep,” he said. “As soon as it’s light, we’re moving.”

“You should do the same.”

“I will. In a little while.”

She didn’t answer to that and it was too dark to see anymore. Silence deepened. Even the night sounds of the forest were strangely quiet. There was on the air the sense of a predator nearby, but the only danger that revealed itself was time and the pressing dark.

~*~

Like what you’ve read so far? Please let me know what you think. I love hearing from readers!

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Aiden’s War, Chapter Five – Krysta’s Choice

You can find Chapters 1-4 in the tab up top, Aiden’s War – http://jm-harrison.com/aidens-war/

Chapter Five – Krysta’s choice

Her father saw her and knew something was wrong by the tears left glistening on her face. She tried to rub them away, but belatedly, and then it was too late. There was another man with him in the barn, her supposed suitor, and her voice caught in her throat.

He wasn’t so horrible looking, not as awful as she imagined someone of thirty some years would look. He had brown hair cut short, a plain face that was broader above his eyes than below, a narrow nose, but a firm, square jaw and even a pleasant smile. He wasn’t the monster she expected. His eyes, also brown, took in her appearance with one sweep. She bristled at the appraisal, even though it seemed he approved.

He lowered his gaze then and stood back, allowing her father to get the answers she knew he wouldn’t be able to bear. She still couldn’t believe it was happening. All that came out in her voice as she explained, trembling and cracking from the strain to not start crying again. She was the eldest now, for it was certain that all her brothers were gone, if not dead already.

“He went after her?” Bruin said in a voice filled with confusion and disbelief.

He pondered the massive shift of reality for hardly more than a moment, but it was too long for Krysta to stand still. She moved to the stall where Flash and Dancer were housed and got first one out and then the other.

“Krysta—”

“I’m going after him,” she said in a tone of voice her father was unaccustomed to hearing. Her suitor smiled.

“You most certainly are—” Bruin said, but Krysta cut him off.

“I am, and you can’t stop me—”

“Don’t take that tone—”

“…unless you mean to lock me in a cell and in which case, I’ll escape and never come back. Father! I’m going after him. He doesn’t know anything. He doesn’t know who he is. He doesn’t know because you’ve waited too long to tell him. He’s out there now and the moment he turns twenty you know what will happen. Everything we’ve ever known about him will start and he won’t know, so someone has to be there. I’m going after him.”

“Stop talking, girl,” Bruin said sharply, his teeth clenched so she wondered if they might crumble under the pressure. “You’ve no idea what you’re getting yourself into. We made commitments.”

“And I’ll keep them…once I’m back,” she said and turned to the man who was quietly watching them. “If you don’t give my family any difficulty, when I come back, I’ll go with you.”

The dread of those words filled her throat, locking her voice off. She pulled in a breath and tried to look un-terrified. He seemed mildly amused.

“Where are your children?” she asked when her voice came back.

He smiled and gestured toward the house. “I brought the whole unruly brood with me, to see if you could handle them, which I can see already you won’t have any difficulty with.”

“Do you have boys?”

“Four of them.”

“And the oldest?” she asked, glancing at her father. He was listening now.

“He’ll turn fifteen in a few days. The one after is fourteen.”

“Leave them here,” she said, and moved to tack-up the horses. Her father didn’t move to stop her.

“And the youngest,” he asked. “Other than the baby?”

“The youngest boy is 5”

“You’ve a wet nurse for the child?”

“Yes, but she won’t stay more than another month.” The man’s face scrunched in consternation. “You want them all?”

“If you’ll leave here without causing my family a problem,” Krysta said. “They’ll care for your children while I’m gone.”

“And in the mean time,” Bruin said, “if you find yourself another wife, I’ll release you from the contract, no questions or difficulties from us.”

The man couldn’t quite believe it, but when Bruin held out his hand to shake on the deal, he didn’t hesitate to take it. He seemed the kind of man who didn’t especially care about his own kin. They were a burden to him, one he meant to slough off on Krysta the moment he could. She wondered, if they gave him leave to go, if he’d ever come back. The burden for her family, for her father really, had just grown five-fold. But he saw like she did, that the older boys could be helpful and maybe, just maybe they’d grow and learn some skills and be grateful for the change in their life. She wouldn’t be around to find out. Continue reading

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