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KND Freebies: THE AZNADAC HEIR (GLOURMAIN CHRONICLES) is featured in today’s Free Kindle Nation Shorts excerpt

In a place of powerful magic, a group of talented teenagers cursed with uncontrollable abilities must work with a masterful ancient witch to save the world from complete darkness.
“I thoroughly enjoyed reading this…very compelling, imaginative…the magic
was mind-blowing…”
4.8 stars – 4 Reviews
Or currently FREE for Amazon Prime Members Via the Kindle Lending Library
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:

Agrenisis, is an ancient powerful witch of Glourmain, who in her youth released a darkness unto the world — now she must stop this darkness to save her world. A darkness that gave her power. To do this she must work with talented teenagers from our world — Maxwell, an apprentice sorcerer; Jane, a half-vampire; Sam, a werewolf; Wendy, a witch; Paul, a telekinesist; Belle, a seer; Benjamin, an alchemist; Steven, an amateur sorcerer; and her former master’s daughter, Agriel, who were all cursed with uncontrollable abilities by this darkness.

Praise for The Aznadac Heir:


“Really fascinating and captivating. The flow was simply built from a world of interesting imagination….”

I really enjoyed this book

“…reminds me much of those adventure-filled fantasy books I read when I was younger. I zipped through this page-turner…in this world of rich characters…”
an excerpt fromThe Aznadac Heir
(Book I, Glourmain Chronicles)

by Christopher Holloway


Glourmain — 400 years ago

Agrenisis walked briskly through the darkening hall of Oraidneous, the Wailden Council Headquarters. She kept to the shadows to avoid being seen. Portraits of fallen Wizards hung high, along the gloomy wall. She did not stop until she reached the door to her Master’s office. Her protector, a black monkey sitting on her shoulder, pointed down the hallway. There, she saw a red-haired lady with a white eagle protector that hovered above her head, step inside another door. The monkey whispered into her ear. Her face darkened. She entered her Master’s office.

The portraits of the nine Lords of Flames stared at Agrenisis from behind her Master’s desk. The solemn features of her late mother, Wailden, Lord of the Black Flame of Power, contrasting sharply with the smiling face of her Master, Aznadac, Lord of the White Flame of Love beside it.

Agrenisis walked up to where Aznadac was, dozing in his chair, before the hearth. The fire flared up. In the newly risen white flame appeared a sudden image of her mother, as a young lady, holding hands with a teenage looking Aznadac. “It appears Dove Egreneth is still better than you,” the old wizard murmured without opening his eyes. “I am more skilled, but I admit that Dove is a more experienced Awizal, my lord,” she argued. “Silence!” Aznadac coughed, opening his golden eyes. “If truly you are Wailden’s heir, and want to be my successor as  Head of the Wailden Council, it should be neither about skill nor experience, but about power. You have failed!” “Lord Aznadac, surely, you must know that I am Wailden’s heir,” Agrenisis pleaded, showing him her wand. It was a black wand that had the ornate shield of a crown of flames. “I know you have the famous Wailden’s wand, but you are yet to prove yourself. To do so, use it to undertake an impossible quest, successfully.” He smiled, and closed his eyes.


Agrenisis stood before the Temple of Virtues. She was pondering. She had to prove herself. But, was she right to attempt this alone? What would happen, if she failed? There was not one of the other eleven Awizals, Lord Aznadac’s elite students, whom she could trust. They were all too timid and would want to wait for Lord Aznadac’s directives. They were not leadership material anyway and this required a leader’s decisiveness. She was. That’s why she was the Wailden’s heir. If only, she could  avenge her mother’s death and thereby fulfil one of the great prophesies by sending Liydeth, the goddess of fear, with her armies of man-like dragons called Doomrors, back to the underworld. Then, no one would doubt her power, and Lord Aznadac would have to step down for her. She looked into the crystal sphere in her hand. It was as she suspected; Lord Aznadac was in Earethdom with Agriel, his adopted daughter. It was a full court. A jousting tournament was about to begin. There were many kings, and notable knights. Aznadac stood beside the throne, and addressed the court.  “With great joy in my heart, and gratitude to the kings, who have come to witness the unflinching courage of their knights, I welcome you to the Sixteenth Peace Tournament…”

Agrenisis entered the Temple and pointed her wand at the engraved wooden door to the Hall of Virtues “Open!” she commanded. The door eerily slid open and she stepped through it. Blue magical light lit the surroundings. A serene music started. She crossed the hall, walking quickly, her monkey headed staff in her left hand. She reached the other side and entered a larger hall.

A green light lit this hall. Music started; although there was something quite distasteful in the sound, it made Agrenisis’ heart beat faster. The hall looked dilapidated. Climbing plants rose up the wall. There was a long-dead fountain, an imposing stone dragon with outspread wings and an open mouth cast in an agonized hideous face in the middle of it.

She opened a towering gold door. The room was lit with red light. There was music here too: music of a terrible kind. It sounded like the clashing of swords mixed with war cries. The room was filled up… There were thousands of ugly witches, wizards, sorcerers, orcs, vampires and Doomrors, man-like dragons. Some were standing and some were sitting, some lying down, and others hovering, but none moved. The most interesting of them was a woman, richly dressed in gold trimmed red robes. She wore a crown and a look of such coldness and pride that took Agrenisis’ breath away.

Agrenisis looked at the ugly figures and wondered which one of them was Liydeth. She walked to the middle of the room. There were twelve magnificent stone animal statues inside. A white stone tablet hung from a lion’s gaping mouth. It resembled a book. Agrenisis smiled, “The Stone of Virtues,” she murmured. There was something written on the pillar beside the lion. It was written in an ancient language that she understood. “Only one of the twelve Lords of Flame can banish Liydeth and her army from this temple. Only Wailden, the Lord of the Black Flame of Power, can send Liydeth back to the underworld, but she is lost in the Mist of Velden. She cannot come to us in our need, to save our beloved temple. However, it has been prophesied that Wailden shall yet come to us through her heir who shall lead her own. And by her wand Liydeth shall fall.”

She smiled and clicked her wand into a gap in a pillar. The stone tablet closed like a book. Then the music climaxed with a thunderous crash. Agrenisis staggered, supported herself on the black monkey headed staff she carried. She heard the soft noise; one of the figures moved.

“Degresis mensora reunimus resisneu Liydeth!” Agrenisis said in a throaty voice. What she called stood before her. It was the queen, majestic and alive. Her beauty was impossible. The golden light seemed to be a part of her hair that flowed over her shoulders in silky waves, onto her blood-soaked robes.

“You are rash to seek me out. Are you weary of life so soon Agrenisis?” Liydeth asked in a wooden voice.

“You killed my mother!” Agrenisis shouted at her, her eyes flashing angrily.

“Death is-” Liydeth interrupted but suddenly paused, a smile resting on her lips. “Power! There are many who don’t understand its true nature.”

“Doomror, by her wand, I shall destroy you.” Agrenisis vowed.

Liydeth laughed gaily like a child promised a particular treat. “Which wand, the one trapped in the pillar? Are you so desperate to kill me, you could not wait for the others, could not trust your Lord Aznadac to accompany you? I know your ambition, your grief, and your power. Now in this place I offer this gift to you. I will give you power of a kind the Lords of Flame can only dream of.”

She could barely see Liydeth through the haze that now shrouded her. Liydeth pressed her hand against Agrenisis’ forehead. The pain was unspeakable, searing through the skin, into the blood beyond the bone. And sliding through it was a terrible power. Liydeth smiled. “It is I who take you. For you, my Will is Law. You are now a Doomror. Your power shall be mixed with mine, and we shall rule this world.”

There was now a storm in Agrenisis’ black eyes, glittering and snapping with fire. It was grief that flashed in her eyes. With all her rage, Agrenisis struck Liydeth’s heart with her staff. The pain that ripped through her heart resounded with a terrible ripple. Liydeth flew back into the air shrieking with rage. “You would dare.” Her voice gurgled with outrage.

“Liydeth, you are broken!” Agrenisis fired back, her mocking laughter reverberating around the hall.

Suddenly, Liydeth’s wound magically healed, and Agrenisis perceived her power. Such power that Agrenisis had never encountered. Liydeth did not lie. She was more powerful than the Lords of Flame.

“Now I take you Agrenisis for you are mine.” Liydeth sneered triumphantly. Agrenisis struggled against this unknown power that was now part of her. Some part of her struggled for survival, the other could not. The agonizing pain and the unrelenting power dragged her deeper into the darkness. She looked into her crystal sphere. Aznadac was still there in Earethdom. At the feast, or was it a battle? The kings and knights were now killing one another. Aznadac looked confounded. Such was the effect of Liydeth’s power. Agrenisis’ staff dropped out of her trembling hands.

“Help! Please help!” Agrenisis cried into the crystal. In a flash, a white flaming lion emerged from the statue and bounded towards Liydeth. It stretched out in midair and turned into Aznadac.

“Aznadac, you are too late.” Liydeth laughed harshly.

Agrenisis watched helplessly as Liydeth picked up her monkey-headed staff from the ground and swung it at the Stone of Virtues.

“No!” Aznadac cried, staggering backwards.

“Did you really think you could imprison me forever?”

Aznadac looked down at the shattered pieces of the Stone of Virtues.

Liydeth laughed. “For each piece there shall be a protecting Doomror. Never again shall the Stone of Virtues be whole.”

In an instant, the frozen army of Liydeth came alive. “The White Flame of Love’s rule has ended.” She shrieked.

“Hope!” Aznadac cried. The hall shook. The white flame of Aznadac went out leaving him without a wand. Simultaneously, Agrenisis consciousness was no longer of the hall. She quivered with the Light and heat that now suffused her. It blinded her mind, stunned her with awe. She was conscious of standing in a large tournament field, castles on all sides. It was real; she was there. She felt the blades of grass brush against her legs, and icy wind on her face. Battle surrounded her, or the tail end of battle. Armoured men on armoured horses, shiny steel, stained with blood now, slashed and stabbed one another wielding axes and broadswords. Some men fought afoot, their horses down, and barded horses galloped through the fight on empty saddles. The air mage, Agriel, who was Aznadac’s adopted daughter, floated above them all, her white cloak billowing in the wind. Aznadac’s ring of power, glowed like a star on a finger of her left hand, and his white flaming wand clutched in her right hand.

And with blinding suddenness the bright red light of the hall was about her again. She flinched. Shutting her eyes, she fell to her knees even as Liydeth’s mocking laughter boomed in her ears.

“So you sacrifice yourself for some ill-conceived scheme to thwart me,” She sneered at Aznadac, “I know you sent your ring of power, and wand to Earethdom. I shall not kill you yet, but shall imprison your soul as you once imprisoned me. I shall keep you alive, long enough for you to know that you have sacrificed yourself in vain.”

Agrenisis walked up to the Lord of White Flame Of Love but winced under his gaze. “Go and make the Circle of Nine that is One. Only then shall you have any hope of defeating Liydeth,” Aznadac warned.

Chapter One

Mist Valley – The Present Day

Agriel was dead. She knew because she was floating away and was seeing her body lying on the ground, with a spear sticking right through her chest. She trembled. A brilliant white flaming Lion floated above her like an enormous cloud, blocking her ascent. It studied her curiously. It’s lips twitched in a smile.

The majestic Lion raised its head, and spoke in a man’s voice.

“I am Aznadac the Lord of the White Flame Of Love! Do you wish to go back?” With tears in her eyes, Agriel looked down at her parents and sibling’s bodies.

“I don’t want everything to end without having done something.” She stammered.

“Understandable. I will lend you my power.”

She fell, plunging into the welcoming warmth of her body.

“Agriel… Agriel… Agriel…” Voices whispered around her; simultaneously sounding close and incalculably distant.

Agriel, the air mage, woke up from her nightmare, feeling several lifetimes old. Mrs. Richardson, Agriel’s foster mother, stood beside her bed studying her, as Gabriella, her teenage friend, helped her sit up. Gabriella was a demon hunter.

“Woken up, have you?” Mrs. Richardson said. Her voice was unexpectedly sharp. And cold. “Good. Then perhaps you would be able to join us at the cocktail party.”

Agriel shrugged, and said nothing.

“Gabriella, you have five minutes to get her ready.” Mrs. Richardson snapped, and left the room.

Gabriella was the bodyguard assigned to Agriel by the Richardsons. The Richardsons, Agriel’s foster parents, were the leaders of the Oregeoun Wolves, the ruling cult of the magical community of Mist Valley, California. The Demon hunter Gabriella was assigned to protect her from the Vampires and other cults, opposed to the Leadership of the Oregeoun Wolves in Mist Valley. However, Agriel knew that Gabriella was there to spy on her, because the Oregeoun Wolves were suspicious of the activities of an alien being like herself. However, Gabriella had agreed to sneak with her out of the 10th “Anniversary Celebrations” of the Wolf Revolution and take her to see a fortune teller at the Cursed.

“So what’s the plan?” Agriel inquired.

Gabriella returned a comb to the dressing table. “We’ll spend some minutes at the party then we’ll leave un-noticed and drive straight to the CURSED, quickly see Ijeuma and hurry back.” She puckered her lips like she was sucking a sweet. “Then we’ll step out to see the array of fireworks…I heard they would be quite  spectacular this year…”


“Oh! Then we’ll step back in with the others after the fireworks display.”

“I think it would work.” Agriel gave Gabriella a mysterious smile. As she shut her room door.

“It certainly would,” Gabriella whispered. “You will also get to meet some guys at the Cursed.”

Agriel giggled.

Agriel found the cocktail party boring. The room was filled up with fashionably dressed ladies, and distinguished looking gentlemen. She moved among them smiling sweetly and answering curtly when spoken to.

“And what do you like most about our community?” An elderly man asked, smiling at her.

“The cute guys,” Agriel answered, smiling sweetly.

Gabriella tittered. “You must be careful. I believe you have just made an enemy.”

Agriel shrugged.

“That was Lord Rudin, head of the White Wolves. He presently manages Aexel Company for your dad.” Gabriella whispered as they walked out of the door.

“I wonder why Professor Richardson does not manage the perfume company by himself?” Agriel murmured, looking at the Aexel Company’s two storeyed cylinder-like buildings, across the fence.”

Five minutes later, Agriel and Gabriella walked away carefully avoiding attention towards the north gate. Agriel noticed a colourful rocket that stood at least five feet high among the array of fireworks on the field.

“Wow! Is it real?” Agriel inquired.

“The rocket is for the grand finale!” Gabriella laughed.

Squinting Agriel noticed that the guards at the gate were more concerned about who entered, than who stepped out of the grounds.

Gabriella whispered into the ears of one of the guards, he let them out through the side gate, grinning from ear to ear.

“What did you tell him?” Agriel asked, entering Gabrielle’s car. It was a red 2010 Honda Accord.

“Something he wanted to hear.” Gabriella grinned mischievously. She started the car.

Agriel laughed. “So where is the Cursed?”

“We would get there in about five minutes.”

Agriel looked through the window, as the car cruised out of the Richardsons’estate. There was a Halloween fair at a square a couple of blocks from her house. The road was congested, and they had to move more slowly than the pedestrians who were all wearing Halloween costumes.

“The Mayor was smart to have the fair near your house, since the whole town would want to see the fireworks display later on.” Gabriella observed.

“So what is the big deal with the fireworks?” Agriel wanted to know.

They turned into another street. Most of the houses seemed very different from the ones in the Richardson’s street: much smaller, meaner, more closely built together.

“When the Oregeoun Wolves overthrew the Dragon Guardians ten years ago, a red flare in the sky was the sign that was used to signify that they had control of the town. So every year, they used the fireworks to mark the coup, which they refer to as the Wolf Revolution.”

“And today is the tenth anniversary?”

“Yup.” Gabriella replied. She pulled the Honda into a parking lot behind a two storey building with an electric light flashing CURSED. Graffiti splashed the walls, and cigarette butts dotted the ground.

Agriel noticed that all the teenagers hanging around the building were not in Halloween costumes. Also, they had stopped whatever they were doing and were staring at her, as they walked to the club’s entrance.

“Why are they staring at me?” Agriel murmured.

“Oh!” Gabriella grinned. “There is a curse at the entrance that allows only magically talented teenagers like us to go inside.”

“What exactly does the curse do?”

“It turns teenagers without magical ability, and non-teenagers to frogs. That way, our parents cannot enter. I have already used my Demon hunter’s senses to recognize that you have some magical talent. So I thought it an irrelevant detail.” Gabriella said looking at Agriel enquiringly.

“Yes, I have some abilities.” Agriel smiled. However, Agriel thought ruefully, the question she should be asking is if I am a teenager? The air mage knew that her soul was bound to the ring she wore. The ring that was formed by Aznadac’s last spell “Hope!” It contains some of Aznadac’s powers. The rest was in the Aznadac’s wand. She had not aged a single day since the stone of virtues was broken into twelve pieces. Each protected by one of Liydeth’s Doomrors.

“So why are your friends not in Halloween costumes?” Agriel inquired, trying to calm her nerves as she went up the steps.

“It is because we are the real deal.” A blond-haired girl, who was now blocking the entrance, smiled, exposing her fangs.

“Jane is a half-vampire. She is contesting to be the next Cursed’s secretary. And she has been dying to meet you.” Gabriella hissed. “And yes Jane, this is Agriel, the Richardson’s foster daughter. Now step away from the entrance.”

Agriel murmured a spell to detect the magic. A foggy mist settled around the entrance. But the image the air mage saw was strange, as if two different pictures were placed one over the other, forming an untangled web of multicoloured radiations surrounded by a pattern of blue energy.

Agriel trembled in front of the doorway; the Aznadac’s ring on her finger glowed softly. She could feel his presence.

Use the power I gave to you.

She felt the wave of power surge through her, filling her with overwhelming joy. It made her confident. And her mind suddenly filled with knowledge she did not know she had. She now understood the significance of every one of the four radiation threads in the web and of the blue flame. The threads represented the four basic temperaments of mankind, the red radiation representing the fiery melancholic temperament of youth. That was the key, it and the blue energy signature of Ereathdian magic.

Agriel repressed her white energy signature of Glourmain magic, simulating it into the weaker blue Ereathdian signature. Using the Aznadac’s power now pulsating through her, she fashioned a red cloak around her body from the recessed melancholic radiation within her aura.

Then she crossed the threshold.

“Who fashioned the spell?” Agriel smiled beaming.

“Wendy, the witch,” Jane hissed.  “For a moment there, I thought you were afraid?”

“No. I am just not used to subjecting myself to other people spells.”

“Yeah, I totally understand…” Jane said, leading them towards the stairs.

“She is here to see Ijeuma. When she is done we would come and have some drinks with you upstairs.”

“The Fortune teller?” Jane scowled. “No offence, but that is not on my to-do list.  See you at the bar.” Jane said, and climbed the stairs.

Ijeuma told fortunes at the back room. The room was empty. Ijeuma herself, a pretty Afro American girl of about sixteen years old, sat in front of her table engrossed with her blackberry.

“Gabriella,” She said happily, setting the phone aside. “You have brought a friend.”

“Yes,” Gabriella hissed. “She wants you to read her fortune.

“I am sorry for the sudden imposition.” Agriel said, sitting down opposite Ijeuma.

“Not at all, it is my pleasure to help. So what can I do for you?”

“A general reading on what the future holds for me.”

“I hope Gabriella has informed you of the cost? It is twenty dollars per card, fifty dollars for the average reading of three cards. However, if you want more, I would give you at a discount of ten dollars for every additional card.” Ijeuma explained.

“The general reading would do, thank you.” Agriel smiled.

“The cards tell the future, if something is to be, the cards will always tell you, you can be guaranteed.” Ijeuma said, bringing out her tarot cards.

“You sound certain.” Agriel teased.

“I am certain.”

She grew serious as she flipped the cards, her eyes carefully studying them.

The first one was Four of Swords.

“You shall achieve success. A quest you have toiled for, for some time, shall soon end. And you shall meet the one you are looking for.”

“Are you sure?” Agriel asked, excited.

Ijeuma smiled, and brought up the next card, the Six of Swords. It had a bunch of people rowing out in the moonlight. ‘‘You shall go on a journey. A quest.’’

“Would it be this year?” Agriel asked.

Gabriella laughed.

Ijeuma ignored her. “The cards would always tell your nearest foreseeable future.” Ijeuma hissed. She picked up the next card. Ten of swords: It showed a dead man, lying on the swords with a bunch of swords sticking through him.

“The cards never lie.” Gabriella teased.

Ijeuma ignored the jibe.  “Death. A close shave with death. Any one of them is possible. Hopefully, a close shave.”

Agriel sat there, too stunned for words. Was she just told she would soon be dead?

“We have to go.” Gabriella said gently.

Ijeuma stretched her hand. “Please pay up.”

“Keep the change.” Agriel said, shoving a hundred dollars into her hand. She moved slowly to the door, deep in thought.

“Don’t allow Ijeuma’s readings to weigh you down.” Gabriella comforted her as they climbed the stairs. “If it is any consolation, she read the Ten of sword card for me, just last week. And said I shall act as a bridge between two worlds, ridiculous, Isn’t it? Generally, people have been complaining that anytime she reads within the past month, either the Ten of Swords or the Nine of Swords comes up. Some believe it is her witchcraft talent that might be affecting her readings. ”


“Her mother is a Gypsy, and her father’s some type of black American wizard. So she doubles as a fortune teller and a witch.”

“Maybe there is going to be a war, perhaps another coup.” Agriel suggested.

“Yeah! Big chance of that happening.”

At the top-floor, dim track lighting illuminated several tables, about half of which were in use. Cigar smoke enveloping the low ceiling. The serving area was in the middle of the room, a large square bar with a lift of the panel for staff to go to and fro.

Gabriella led the way to one of the empty tables. Agriel sat down, making herself comfortable on a low rickety chair. She could see Jane at the bar.

“I will get some drinks and bring Jane over.” Gabriella excused herself, and went to the bar.

Agriel sat there pondering.  She had been staying in California for over three years, moving from town to town, and foster home to foster home. Ijeuma’s reading has been the most exciting development she had since she entered this Earethdom. If she actually finds the Aznadac’ heir, even if she dies afterwards… It would be worth dying for…

“I am Dave. I am an Oregeoun wolf.” A dark-haired guy smoking a cigarette roused Agriel from her reverie.

“Agriel.” She smiled.“New here?” He asked, crushing his cigarette on the table.

“Yes, my first time.”

“So what’s your talent?” He stammered.

Agriel shrugged, looked towards the bar, at Jane and Gabriella, who were talking to a tall blond guy.

“I am talking to you.” The guy snapped. Grabbing her arm with one hand, he pressed his sharp canine finger nails of the other hand against her throat. “Sweetie when Dave is trying to be nice you behave.” He whispered his breath reeking of alcohol.

Agriel couldn’t see Jane any more – she was a blur as she charged at Dave. Dave’s movement was impossibly quick too. Jumping, he swung at her face, but missed by a hair’s breath. Swift as a ghost, Jane lunged at him, pinning him to the ground.

“We should leave.” Gabriella whispered into Agriel’s ear.  Just as Dave’s friends surged around the table wanting to help their friend.

They hurried out of the club.

“Get the blood sucker off me!” Agriel heard Dave’s shout as she entered the car.

“Don’t look so anxious. Jane can take care of herself.” Gabriella said, starting the car.

The drive back was faster. The Halloween fair at the square had ended. And there were no cars or pedestrians about.

“Oh shit! We are late!” Gabriella hissed, flattening her foot against the accelerator.

The grounds were full of people from the Halloween fair, and the cocktail party.

“So if Dave is an Oregeoun wolf. Why isn’t he here?” Agriel commented.

“I don’t think he wanted to spend Halloween with his dad.” Gabriella replied pushing her way through the crowd. “What’s the deal between you two anyway? Jane thought he wanted to rape you, or something.”

“Nah, he wanted to know my talent. Of course, I didn’t tell him, and then he went mad!” Agriel hissed, and shouldered her way past a man with a red cape and devil horn.

“Why didn’t you tell him?” Gabriella shouted, over the yells from the crowd as the fireworks exploded like hot pink flowers.

“I don’t like people knowing my limitations.” Agriel shouted back, appreciating the distance they had covered. They were now in the middle of the grounds, and she could see her foster parents standing on the terrace.

“That’s the most pathetic reason I have ever heard. It is not like it is a big secret; we all saw your ring glow when you entered the club. So we know your power is linked to your ring.” Gabriella hissed, “Listen we trust one another in the Cursed.”

Before Agriel could decide what to answer, the crowd roared in excitement as the grand finale rocket was shot.

Pressure exploded against Agriel’s senses, grey, red, and dark. Her eyes flew up to the blazing rocket.

“What the -” gasped Gabriella as she stared up at the dark, cloud-like Dragon, carrying the shooting rocket in its claws.

For a moment, Agriel thought it was an illusion. Then she noticed that the Dragon was tilting the shooting rocket towards the next door Aexel Chemical Company’s two storeyed factory buildings. There was an explosion.

Suddenly, the grounds around them erupted in screams, and cries of children. Chaos broke loose! Everybody tried to get away, but they all took different directions, so collisions and entanglements followed. A few of the security men tried to keep order by heading the people back towards the gate, but it didn’t do a lot of good. Everyone was out for himself, too terrified and panicky to think reasonably.

“Gabriella what-” Agriel snapped turning around to face Gabriella.

However, Gabriella was nowhere to be seen. Instead, a child in a very realistic goblin costume was screaming in pain, where Gabriella had been standing a moment earlier.

Looking around, Agriel knew there was no hope of seeing Gabriella in this crowd stampeding towards the gate. She ran into the house.

Agriel shut her room window with a sigh and switched off the lights. The confusion outside was now under control.  The grounds were empty. The fire at the Aexel factory was extinguished. No one has been reported dead, but fears have been raised of possible chemical pollution from the Aexel factory. What happened? Did she see a black Glourmain dragon, which is capable of killing the strongest wizard in Earethdom, just tilt a firework’s rocket into a chemical factory? Should she report this to the Wailden Council? No. They would not believe it possible, and even if they did, would not believe it happened.


Agrenisis shimmered into the dark room. She wore a black gown trimmed with gold.

“You… are dead.” Agriel stammered.

“It is nice to see you too.” Agrenisis smiled.

“But you were killed by Liydeth’s deathriduns in the battle of the First Gate.”

“I faked my own death.”

“Why are you here?” Agriel hissed, her eyes blazing.

“I came here in obedience to Aznadac’s last wish: To help you protect the Aznadac’s heir.”

“Who else but you who betrayed him would claim to know his last wish?”

Agriel’s words chilled Agrenisis, but somehow she forced herself to continue calmly, while her fists tightened at her sides.

“I have chosen seven magically talented kids, who are to assist you in protecting the Aznadac’s heir. Together with the Aznadac’s heir, you shall form the Circle of Nine that is One.”

“What makes you think I will trust your servants, when I do not trust you?  Your word is as much an illusion as your appearance here.”

Agrenisis’ smile faded, and a hint of anger showed around her eyes. Nevertheless, once again, she managed to hold her temper.

“I can understand how you feel, Agriel, but I am not the same Doomror that fought against the Wailden Council in the battle of the First Gate. Ever since I faked my own death, I have severed all ties to Liydeth.”

“And how can you prove that?”

“I don’t need to prove myself to you, but if you can trust yourself to work with these teenagers so that no harm befalls the Aznadac’s heir, I would be grateful.”

“And how do I know that these teenagers shall not betray the Aznadac’s heir, as you once betrayed Lord Aznadac.”

Agrenisis’ mouth tightened, the anger in her eyes growing plainer. “They shall not betray him,” she snapped.

I would know when they are about to betray him,” Agriel murmured, when Agrenisis’ image vanished. “Then, I shall stop them.”

It was morning, and she had to go to school. Agriel dressed quickly and went for breakfast.

Chapter Two

Helen stood in the centre of a circle which she drew on clear ground. The jewels on her robe gleaming in the moonlight. Six white wolves sat around her, protecting her. She observed the forest around her. With a sigh, she closed her eyes, put her hairy hands over her goblin-like face, and continued mumbling the incantation of cleansing.

The sudden silence was their only warning.

“Helen, Helen-” Cane the leader of the pack interrupted her meditation. He was speaking telepathically, and Helen understood him clearly.

“We are under attack.”

“What! Vampires? Is the rumour true?” Helen asked.

Cane sniffed. “They are not vampires. Rats!” It growled.

Two wolf-sized rats edged slowly into the clearing. Their eyes were intent on missing nothing. Their Metallic tails gleamed in the moonlight.

The wolves took a defensive position.

“Sneats,” whispered Helen.

“What?” Cane asked.

“They are Sneats. I read about them in the newspaper. They were rats mutated by the same chemical pollution that deformed me. They eat humans, especially the small, defenceless ones…”

“Children!” Cane interrupted. “Well, they seem to have developed a taste for succulent flesh.” He grinned, exposing his fangs. “Or they don’t know what wolves are yet.”

Helen laughed.

One of the Sneats disappeared, vanished into thin air.

The wolves tensed up.

“We are leaving here. These are not just enlarged rats with metallic tails,” Cane snarled.

“What are they?” Helen inquired, interrupting Cane as he communicated his thoughts with the pack.

“I suspect something much worse. You will ride on my back.”

The wolves were suddenly sniffing and snapping around the circle. Helen picked a sharp rock and held ready.

“The invisible Sneat has entered the circle.”  Cane warned, “Climb my back now.”

Gingerly, Helen stepped forward. The wolf tapped a foot impatiently. “Climb now!” it snapped.

Helen climbed its back, and they were gone. She still clutched the rock. Cane disappeared into the forest shadows, two wolves on each side, and one behind him. They moved in a defensive formation.

“We are being followed,” one of the wolves communicated with the pack.

“Any sign of the invisible Sneat?” Cane inquired.


“Don’t worry; it would never catch up with us,” Cane comforted.

“It’s fast.”

“How fast is it?”

“It is faster than a vampire.”

“Jack, James, and Henry, please get rid of the pest. Meet us at the mansion, when you are through.”

The wolves stopped and confronted the Sneat.

A moment later, howls of the wolves’ anguish filled the air. Helen looked back, and saw the Sneat turn one of its hands into a lance; stabbing one of the wolves as it lunged.

Cane increased his speed.

“Shouldn’t we turn and help them,” Helen pleaded.

“No, your life is too important Princess.” Cane snapped.

“The Sneat is after us again,” one of the wolves warned.

“That was fast,” Cane growled.

“Are they dead?” Helen demanded.

“I don’t know, but it’s upon us.” A wolf behind warned.

Cane tilted its head a fraction and nodded at the two wolves.

They wheeled round as one and faced the Sneat.

Cane did not wait to see the outcome of the fight, but further increased his speed. Helen felt herself being flung backward. She clung to the wolf’s mane. They passed a row of dense trees. She could now see her house. Helen sighed in relief.

Cane howled for assistance. A pack answered. Helen heard the breaking of some branches behind them. She looked back at the Sneat which was about fifty meters away. Then with a jump, it was in front of them barring their way. Cane stopped.

“It teleported,” she whispered to Cane.

“Get off my back, and run home.” Cane growled.

Helen jumped off, but stood rooted, holding up the sharp rock as a knife for protection. The rough edges of the rock pierced her skin. She did not feel the pain.

Cane snarled and lunged at the Sneat. The Sneat was nowhere to be seen. Where the sneat stood, there was now an enormous rock. Was it an illusion? Helen wondered. The wolf crashed its head into the rock and lost consciousness. No, it was certainly not an illusion. The rock shimmered back into a Sneat.

Her hand shook, and she dropped the sharp rock.

“Graven, is she the Custodian of the Aznadac’s wand?” the Sneat asked its unseen partner.

The sharp rock Helen had dropped shimmered into a Sneat.

“No, her blood is not that of the Custodian; it lacks that combustive power of a Mage from Glourmain.”

“And the wolves protected her, as if she were the Custodian of Aznadac’s wand,” the Sneat wondered.

Helen heard the howls of the wolves just behind her. The Sneats were not paying her attention. She shimmered into a white wolf and ran to her father’s pack. The Sneats ignored them and vanished.

“Who attacked you?” Asked Lord Rudin, Helen’s father, the alpha and head of the White Wolves.

“Sneats. They killed Cane,”

“Sneats? I thought they were enlarged rats with metallic tails?”

“Yes, but they also have magical powers. They were looking for a Mage from Glourmain—The Custodian of the Aznadac’s wand.”

“I suspected as much, these Sneats are not victims of the toxic pollution. They are products of an amalgamation spell that was cast by one of the Lords of Glourmain.”

“This Amalgamation spell is what has deformed me, isn’t it?”

“Yes. I am so sorry,”

“Is there a cure?”

“Yes, there are cures to deformity by amalgamation, but it must be taken regularly.”

Helen smiled.

“Father, where is Glourmain?”

“Glourmain is the World of magic. It is known by many other names. Some men call it the Astral realm, others the Beyond. It is essentially the Forge of Ephesus, a place where perfect, everlasting prototypes of everything we see on earth from our bodies to our most advanced mechanical appliances are first made by the Beings. There are very powerful wizards, witches, and other forms of magical beings in Glourmain. There is a barrier separating our world from Glourmain. However, on the spring equinox, and the summer solstice, the barrier is weakened and can be passed by those of us with magical abilities. I have been there once. They refer to our world as Earethdom and us as Earethdians.” Lord Rudin explained. “I would inform the Oregeoun wolves about the Sneats, first thing in the morning.”

“Father, the Sneats have been attacking gifted teenagers from all magically oriented sects in the Mist Valley —teenagers that were deformed by the same amalgamation spell that created these Sneats. If you organized a meeting, and informed all sects that the Sneats are searching for this Custodian, it would give us the much-needed recognition. After all, it is a known fact that we are superior to the grey Oregeoun wolves.”

“And cross the grey Oregeoun wolves? Do not talk like a fool, I expect more from you.” Lord Rudin hissed. “The grey Oregeoun wolves have been able to rule our magical community in the Mist Valley for over a decade, not because they are the strongest sect, nor because they are royalty like either us or the Dragon Guardians; it’s because they have spies everywhere and control the information channels. If the Glourmain Sorcerer who made the Sneats knew this, he would not have bothered with the amalgamation spell. All he really needed to do was to reach some kind of a deal with the grey Oregeoun wolves. Of course, they would have immediately informed him, as they informed me two weeks ago, that there is a young mage from Glourmain staying in the Mist Valley. The grey wolves have been watching her closely. I believe her name is Agriel.”


Agriel walked out of the school gate onto the busy street. It was two weeks since the Aexel explosion. And she still had not seen, or heard a word from Gabriella.  A girl walked up to her from behind. For a moment, they stood quite still. Agriel looked up at the sky. Dark clouds blocked out the invisible sun.

“It will soon rain,” she murmured.

Her companion smiled, a quick, friendly smile, and raked a hand through her short dark hair.

“Yes it looks like it, but I have a queer feeling about this. The clouds are not moving, and it’s been like this since I woke up this morning.”

“Who are you?” Agriel inquired.

“My name is Wendy. Agrenisis sent me.”

Agriel studied her companion. She was a girl about fourteen years old, black hair, brown eyes, but it was the silver pentacle pendant that she wore, which attracted the most attention, held around her neck by three strands of woven gold on either side, the pendant positively radiated in all directions.

“Let’s walk to a quieter place,” Agriel hastily replied. They walked up the wide street thronged with people and lined with open shops. A truck passed, and parked in front of them. They turned into an empty street.

“Well, now you have my attention,” Agriel informed Wendy, as they walked.

“You must come with me, if you want to see the Aznadac’s heir,” Wendy declared.

“Come with you?” Agriel lets out a short laugh. “You should not trust all that Agrenisis says.”

“My mother is a High Priestess of Mystic, the goddess of magic, and has taught me not to trust all beings I see in my crystal. Even so, Agrenisis was right.”

“Right about what?”

“There are rumours that the mutated rats known as Sneats are on the rampage and bent on eradicating all magically talented teenagers from Mist valley,” Wendy answered.

“Sneats,” Agriel interrupted. “I saw a picture of them in the paper. Ratmen with brown furry bodies, metallic limbs, and burning tails or something like that. Poor ratties, they survived the Aexel pollution only to be deformed forever.

Wendy frowned. “Did you read the paper?”

“No. I just looked at the picture, while my foster parents discussed it.”

“If you had read the article, you would have known that those poor ratties did not just mutate but evolved into Orc like monsters with powers, and have an unusual appetite for children with magical abilities,” Wendy retorted, irritation lacing her voice.

“You mean they eat us?” Agriel asked incredulously.

“Yes they do,” Wendy snapped. “The story circulating among witches is that the Sneats are not accidental victims of the Aexel toxic pollution. They are successful products of an amalgamation spell by a powerful, unknown cult. That’s trying to wipe all the teenagers with magical abilities in town.”

They turned into another street.

“But how do these Sneats detect children with magical abilities.”

“The paper said the Sneats kill defenceless children. However, all the children they have killed so far are teenagers with magical abilities, who had been deformed by the amalgamation spell that created the Sneats. The amalgamation spell deformed us, turned us into freaks.”

Agriel angled her head to the side.

“But you don’t look deformed,” Agriel said surprise etched on her forehead.

Wendy smiled easily. “You should see when I am excited. My black hair and eyes turn into some sort of magical orange flames. And you know the irony of it all? Instead of setting the place on fire, I seem to have a self-healing ability just like the Sneats.”

Agriel shook her head slightly. “I heard it was the vampires targeting you people. They have their own sorcerer now, who can make the sky dark in the afternoon.”

“Old news. At first, people believed that the vampires were responsible. Opposing the leadership of the Oregeoun wolves is after all what they do. However, after last night’s failed attempt to assassinate the daughter of the white wolves leader, the girl has confirmed that the Sneats were responsible for the attack,” Wendy explained.

Agriel walked on with Wendy, letting her mind clear. There was a drumming in her chest, an anticipation that had been building over the past weeks. This, she thought, was the next step to reach the Aznadac’s heir. And whatever it was, whatever would happen next. She would face it boldly.

“So what’s your own ability?” Wendy asked.

“You mean deformity?” Agriel smiled.

“I have not noticed…” Agriel stopped suddenly. “We are not alone,” she whispered cutting off whatever Wendy was about saying.

“Vampires,” Wendy growled, and then she started her incantation. A fire ball glowed in her hand in readiness. Agriel looked at Wendy and smiled.

“You waste no time,” Agriel teased. Wendy smiled. They stood still for a moment.

“Cravens always hide!” Wendy thundered.

Two vampires glided towards them.

“Joseph and Tom!” Wendy spat.

“Are you calling me a coward Wendy,” the black-haired vampire Tom smiled.

“It’s no secret that you are chickenhearted,” Wendy spat.

Agriel nudged Wendy sharply. “They are vampires,” she whimpered.

“Wolves’ daughters should not walk into lonely streets. Surely the head werewolf should have taught his daughter more sense,” Tom mocked.

“Fool, she’s just a foster daughter!” Wendy hissed.

“Joseph,” replied Tom, pointing at the vampire with red hair, “is my adopted son. And we are hungry.”

Agriel disappeared and appeared a block away.

“She teleported,” Wendy stuttered. Both vampires turned to look at the confused Agriel, who was standing a block away from them. Wendy used the distraction to send the fireball at Tom. He screamed. The vampire with red hair walked up to Wendy.

“No Joseph, get the other girl. I will finish this. It’s now personal.” He hissed. And his burns were already healing.

Wendy watched helplessly as Joseph started towards Agriel. Her plan failed; she knew a spell that could roast the vampires where they stood. Wendy forgot the stupid spell. And now the infuriated vampire was walking towards her. She closed her eyes to clear her mind and think of the spell. Adrenaline pumped into her blood. The spell would never come on time. She clutched her pentacle in frustration. The sharp edges pierced her hand. Yes! That was it. It was silver; she would seal it into the vampire with a binding spell. She started mumbling the incantation and opened her eyes.

Tom had stopped a foot away from her, uncertain of his movement. She understood. Her hair was now a crown of flames – her eyes glowed with fury. She used his confusion to her advantage. In one movement, she sealed the silver pendant into his chest with a binding spell.

He gave her a kick; she soared five feet from the ground and crashed against the street pole. Her ribs hurt.

Tom was now trying to pry off the silver from his chest. He screamed for help. Then he became a pile of ash.

Wendy put her hand on her ribs. She wouldn’t be able to help Agriel. Her ribs were broken. She turned her head and looked at Agriel as Joseph, who had been startled by Tom’s cry, bit into Agriel’s neck. Then he became a pile of ash. Agriel lay across the floor unconscious.


Lord Maxwell, one of the last two sorcerers of the Dragon Guardians, awoke from his light slumber to the sound of a shutting door—a thunderous sound that reminded him of his everlasting pain. Maxwell lifted his right metal hand up in front of his face, examining the Dragon-ring. The ring reminded him of his ill health. How long had it been since he took the test? How much time had passed since the Hedin Sorcerers of the Hedin Tower of High Sorcery, in Glourmain, had started his initiation ritual into sorcery, an initiation that was never completed. Twelve years!  His father had died, and was not able to take him back to Glourmain to complete the initiation.

Since then he had been struggling with the side effects of the uncompleted initiation. He slipped the Dragon-ring from his metal finger and admired the ring’s wondrous detail. The Dragon-ring, as with most of the Dragon Guardians’ weapons, was forged by the Hedin Sorcerers of Glourmain and then traded to the Dragon Guardians. The Hedin Sorcerers’ workmanship was exquisite, but it was the genie which the Guardians’ sorcerers bound to the ring after they had acquired it, that made the ring truly remarkable.

Maxwell brought the ring before his eyes. In his hand, the ring was more than a weapon. It was his last link to the Guardians that were killed during the Wolf Revolution. Now, his brother and him were all that remained of the once proud Guardians, who had ruled the magical community of the Mist Valley for over two centuries.  And now, after the gods of Glourmain had abandoned them for over a decade, the Awizal, Agrenisis, approached them yesterday. She informed them that Steven, his brother, was the Aznadac’s heir, and that she would send seven teenage Amalgaknights to protect Steven.  She said one of the Amalgaknights would be a mage from Glourmain that would guide them to Glourmain. The seven Amalgaknights and the two of them were to form a Circle of Nine that is One. The Circle, according to her, that would alter the destinies of Glourmain, the world of godlike magic and Earethdom, the world of men.

Maxwell wore the ring in the middle finger of his natural left hand and picked his brother’s note from the table, and read: I must avenge our parents. I pray you forgive me for not telling you. I go only for the sake of our parents’ honour. If I do not come back, you should remember that I love you.

Maxwell got up and paced around the sitting room. Steven’s new-found ability, or as the Awizal put it – deformity, to move at supersonic speeds has got into Steven’s head. Now he thinks he can attack the werewolves?

There was a knock on the door. Maxwell opened the door. There, stood a girl in a black dress. Her dress was torn, and her hair was scattered, like she was just involved in a fight. She wore a silver pentacle pedant around her neck, and in her arms she carried an unconscious brown-haired girl wearing a white dress. She staggered into the house. “Agrenisis ….” She whispered, and then collapsed on the floor.


Belle was standing before her sister’s coffin. She was slim and tall with blond hair that tumbled down her back. She was mourning, and her count

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Strangelets with a Side of Grilled Spam: Episode One (The Strangelets Series)
by Michael Angel
4.6 stars - 7 reviews
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After the original short story spent 21 months on the Top 100 Lists, Strangelets Episode One takes us further into its unique post-apocalyptic world.

Pursued by packs of deadly 'steelies', Lieutenant Shane MacWilliams and his Humvee crew journey through an America shattered by an alien invasion.

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One Reviewer Notes:
This first of four short novels (does anybody still use the word 'novellas' anymore?) is a real breath of fresh air. A trio of soldiers travel through a post-apocalyptic U.S.A., keeping just one step ahead of hostile aliens. Seasoned with a healthy dash of redneck humor, the main character learns of something that could turn the tables on the aliens and maybe tip the balance in humanity's favor. I felt this book is a promising start to a very intriging concept for an end-of-the-world book, and one of the most original I've seen since Warday.
Joel Elad
About the Author
Michael Angel Michael Angel's worlds of fiction range from the unicorn-ruled realm of the Morning Land to the gritty 'Fringe Space' of the western Galactic Frontier. He's the author of the bestselling Centaur of the Crime - where C.S. Lewis meets CSI. His books populate shelves in languages from Russian to Portuguese. Michael currently resides in Southern California. Alas, despite keeping a keen eye out for griffins, centaurs, or galactic marshals, none have yet put in an appearance on Hollywood Boulevard.

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4.9 stars – 77 Reviews
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Jonathan Winchester has clashed with his alpha one too many times. After another argument he leaves the Manitoba pack, his only home since the werewolf attack that changed his life. He returns to his home state of Virginia to start a new life free of pack politics. Jon finds work and meets a young waitress, Raine, who appears to be a lone werewolf, too.

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4.4 stars – 59 Reviews
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Is it really true that guys think about sex every seven seconds? Martin is a 24 year old guy who falls in love with a 38 year old woman. He has to grow so fast emotionally that he feels like he just got hit by a speeding bus. Not only is Frances fourteen years Martin’s senior, but she’s all about putting Zen into relationship, which involves every guy’s worst nightmare: talking about your feelings, being conscious of your thoughts and above all, unabashed, honest communication at all times. Martin has no idea what he is getting himself into and the sharp learning curve that’s required of him especially when he’s thinking sex but she’s thinking Zen.

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4.8 stars – 16 Reviews
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How does it feel to be treated like dirt beneath someone’s shoes? Or no matter how hard you push to get into someone’s good graces, you are continuously batted away as if you are an irritant pest? Ask Tara Lamont, hairstylist and fiancée to Wynton Lakatos – who struggles hard against the burgeoning attacks of Wynton’s mother, Doreen Lakatos. Doreen is no pushover. She might be the First Lady of Brandon View Baptist Church, but like most mothers she wants the best for her children. To Doreen, that means Tara is not good enough for Wynton, and that she will stop at nothing until she kicks Tara as far as she can — out of Wynton’s life.

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Daisy Dominatrix

by Jennifer L. Hart

4.8 stars – 4 Reviews
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Until Batman strode into Madame Minerva’s Dungeon, Daisy Ellis thought she had everything she wanted. Duran Price isn’t really the Dark Knight, but both the mild mannered CPA and the Dominatrix who keeps her true identity hidden behind a Catwoman mask desires more than his submission. Fitting a relationship into a double life is a full time job and with a super villainess riding shotgun, the power is up for grabs.

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4.1 stars – 55 Reviews
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Anna Wilkins is a prototypical housewife. She buys groceries, picks up the dry cleaning and hosts dinner parties.  Everything was picture perfect from the outside looking in until the life she was born to live collided with the life she was living. Her husband is murdered by a creature from another realm, a creature that is only visible to her. Through her pain, his death awakens a part of her she didn’t know existed. She is then thrust into a life of Vampires, Werewolves and Sexy Nephilim Warriors.

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Cemetery Planet I

by J. Joseph Wright

3.8 stars – 16 Reviews
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It’s eight hundred years in the future, a time when the Earth had become so populated, all graveyards had to be relocated to another planet. It’s an entire world of graves in a lonely, desolate part of the galaxy, and Harvey Crane, the sole caretaker, finds he’s not alone on…CEMETERY PLANET.

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4.3 stars – 116 Reviews
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For fans of 50 SHADES OF GREY, BARED TO YOU, and erotic romance… Lily Ross was having another miserable day at work when tall, dark, and stunningly handsome walked in. After hours. With some very unusual requests.

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4.7 stars – 11 Reviews
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Liv Nelson has a history that spans a millennium. She has everything a girl could want. A global empire, money, power, eternal youth, beauty, a car for every day of the week, a wall full of shoes, and men who worship and desire her – Just some of the perks of being a thousand year old Vampire. But with the good comes bad, and she realizes that even with eternal life she may not be able to escape the demons created by her past.

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4.3 stars – 3 Reviews
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Crime and grime are everywhere, at least in Maggie Phillips’ opinion. Deep in the throes of a New England winter, Maggie’s still adjusting to her new role as confidential informant for the Hudson Police Department. When a suspicious fax is sent to one of her new clients, Maggie is sure she’s unearthed a conspiracy. With no crime to investigate, however, the Hudson P.D. can do nothing—that is until a wealthy trophy wife disappears and the FBI is called in to the hunt.

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4.4 stars – 30 Reviews
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When danger comes lurking in the night, most people run home and hide—safe behind a locked door. For others, though, running home isn’t the answer. For these unlucky ones, when the front door closes and locks at night—the horror’s not locked outside. It’s locked inside.

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5-Star Reviews From Amazon Readers

“Dark story line, but lots of suspense. I liked the characters and was happy for the underlying love story. I would definitely buy more from this author.”

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About The Author

M.D. Grayson is the author of the Danny Logan mystery series including Angel Dance, No Way to Die, and Isabel’s Run. He lives on an island near Seattle with his wife Michelle and their three German shepherds.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Mr. Grayson worked in the construction industry, as an accountant for six l-o-n-g weeks (square peg-round hole), and as a piano player on the Las Vegas strip. When he’s not writing, he loves zooming about on two wheels-bicycles and motorcycles alike. In addition, he’s a pilot, a boater, and an accomplished musician who’s always ready for a jam session!

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Secrets of a Real-Life Female Private Eye is a part-memoir, part-reference nonfiction book based on the experiences of a professional private investigator and writer. Audiences: researchers, writers, detective-fiction fans, armchair detectives and anyone curious about the real world of private investigators!

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About The Author

Colleen Collins is an award-winning author who’s written several dozen novels for Harlequin and Dorchester. She has also indie-published a mystery novel (THE ZEN MAN) and several nonfiction books on private investigations. Her most recent release is the nonfiction book SECRETS OF A REAL-LIFE FEMALE PRIVATE EYE.

Her books have placed first in the Colorado Gold, Romancing the Rockies, and Top of the Peak contests, and placed in the finals for the Holt Medallion, Coeur de Bois Readers Choice, Award of Excellence, More than Magic, and Romance Writers of America RITA contests. The Zen Man was a semifinalist in the Best Indie Books 2012.

Colleen graduated with honors from the University of California Santa Barbara and completed graduate work in telecommunications. She has worked as a film production assistant, improv comic, telecommunications manager, technical writer/editor, speech writer, and private investigator. All these experiences play into her writing.

She’s a member of the Mystery Writers of America, Private Eye Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.

Colleen’s blog: http://colleencollinsbooks.com/.

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Looking to Lose Weight But Have a Sweet Tooth? 100 Under 200 Calorie Desserts by Beth Christian Will Satisfy Your Appetite For Sweet Treats Without Piling on The Pounds – Now $2.99 on Kindle

Here’s the set-up:


Looking to lose weight but have a sweet tooth? “100 Under 200 Calorie Desserts” will satisfy your yen for sweet treats without piling on the pounds.


From the author of the bestselling “100 Under 500 Calorie Meals”

“100 Under 200 Calorie Desserts” is a collection of easy-to-make, delicious calorie counted cakes, cookies, scoops and ices, and pies which will satisfy your sweet tooth and fit in your calorie count.

Beth Christian is a self-confessed chocoholic who has always found it impossible to deny herself sweet treats, so she needed to find low-calorie alternatives for her favorite desserts. With the help of a chef and nutritionist, Beth devised 100 under 200 calorie desserts and made sure that they included snacks for chocolate lovers and low calorie versions of traditional favorites too.

Each recipe states how many servings it makes and the calorie count per serving, so it is easy to keep track of calories and combine desserts with main meal recipes. A glossary of terms and tips for substitutions is also included for those outside the USA.

The perfect companion to “100 Under 500 Calorie Meals: Healthy and Tasty Recipes” and “Easy Alternate Day Fasting: Fast and Feast Your Way to a New You”, also by Beth Christian, or any calorie controlled diet.

“100 Under 200 Calorie Desserts” includes the following recipe categories:

  • Cakes and Cupcakes
  • 100 Calorie Chocolate Cravers’ Snacks
  • Cookies and Bars
  • Dessert Crepes and Blintzes
  • Frozen Scoops, Pops and Ices
  • Lightened Up Semi-Homemade Classics
  • Pies and Fruit Desserts

About The Author

Visit Beth Christian’s Amazon Author Page

Beth Christian is not a doctor or nutritionist, she’s a busy mom who needs to keep fit and healthy. She loves her food and wants to help others overcome their love-hate relationship with it, and enjoy a long, healthy life.

Beth is the author of “Easy Alternate Day Fasting:Fast and Feast Your Way to a New You”, “100 Under 500 Calorie Meals: Healthy and Tasty Recipes” and “100 Under 200 Calorie Desserts: Low Calorie Cakes, Sweets & Cookies”.

And here, in the comfort of your own browser, is your free sample of 100 Under 200 Calorie Desserts by Beth Christian:

T.G.I.F! Kindle Daily Deals For Friday, August 30 – Over 20 Bestsellers in All Genres, All Bargain Priced For a Limited Time! plus Kimberly Kincaid’s 5-Star The Line Trilogy (The Line Series)

But first, a word from … Today’s Sponsor

5.0 stars – 11 Reviews
Or currently FREE for Amazon Prime Members Via the Kindle Lending Library
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:

3 Novellas by Kimberly Kincaid

Love On The Line: Violet Morgan puts the personal in personal chef, catering to clients who want the full cooking experience rather than a culinary drop-and-dash. But when her brother’s police detective partner is injured in the line of duty and needs help during recovery, she makes an exception. Violet lost her father to the job seven years ago, and worries for her brother’s safety every day. The last thing she wants is to get up-close with her brother’s career-cop partner…again.

For Noah Blackwell, being a detective isn’t just a lifestyle, it’s a legacy. So when he’s forced to take mandatory leave and deal with the trauma amnesia keeping him from identifying his shooter, it’s as if insult and injury have joined forces— and now he’s got to deal with an unwanted caregiver on top of it. Never mind that he and Violet shared a steamy, secret kiss last New Year’s Eve. She rejects everything related to the job, and Noah’s not about to be distracted from recovering his memory and getting back to what he does best. No matter how pretty Violet is.

Despite their differences, Violet and Noah share a surprising bond in the kitchen that grows into something neither of them expect. But as Noah heals and their feelings for each other extend from the kitchen to the bedroom, Violet knows she must make an impossible choice. She may wear her heart on her sleeve in the kitchen, but can she put love on the line?

Drawing the Line: When Detective Jason Morgan is tasked with keeping a local restaurant owner safe as part of a make-or-break case, he rises to the challenge. The job is his first priority, and he owes it to the memory of his father, a detective killed in the line of duty, to do it at any cost. But Jason never expected Serenity Gallagher to be so beautiful, so serious…or so tough to protect.

Serenity has moved from place to place at the whim of her capricious mother all her life. The last thing she wants is to leave the diner she finally calls home, even if it means being stuck with a sexy blue-eyed detective. But she’s the only witness to a horrible crime, and the man behind it wants her very, very dead. Going into protective custody means survival, no matter how much Serenity hates hiding.

As Jason and Serenity bide their time together, they are shocked to discover they have much more in common than the surface reveals. But keeping her safe is Jason’s number one priority, no matter how much he’s drawn in by the woman beneath the witness, and Serenity’s past makes it difficult to trust. As the stakes get higher and the spark burns hotter, can Jason and Serenity draw the line?

Outside The Lines: As an Ivy League ER doctor who eats double shifts for breakfast (and lunch…and dinner), Blake Fisher has little appetite for anything other than work. Being on the staff at Brenstville Hospital means taking care of people, a need Blake understands all too well from losing his brother to cystic fibrosis eight years ago. When he’s asked to coordinate a carnival fundraiser for the cause, he jumps at the chance to help others with the disease…until it lands him side by side with the one woman he never thought he’d see again: his ex-fiancée.

Streetwise and rough around the edges, Jules Shaw is no stranger to earning a living through hard work. But when her job as the restaurant manager of Mac’s Diner puts her shoulder to really broad shoulder with Blake Fisher, she nearly balks. She’d rather dodge and deflect than admit the real reason she broke things off, but the catering contract for the carnival means big business for Mac’s, and feeding people is Jules’s lifeblood.

As Blake and Jules join reluctant forces, they quickly rediscover the spark between them. But the possibility of a future together hinges on coming clean about the past, with potentially devastating consequences. Can Blake and Jules overcome their drastically different backgrounds and learn to love again, or will they always be outside the lines?

5-Star Amazon Review
“I adored each of these stories and the sweet heat Kincaid writes so well! This little bundle is a perfect gift or treat for someone who loves sexy heroes, sassy heroines, and sigh-worthy happy endings.”

*  *  *

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Each day’s Kindle Daily Deal is sponsored by one paid title on Kindle Nation. We encourage you to support our sponsors and thank you for considering them.

and now … Today’s Kindle Daily Deal!

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Don’t Miss Barry Knauer’s Inimicus – “Reminiscent of C.S. Lewis, John Bunyon and Frank Peretti.”


by Barry Knauer

4.9 stars – 9 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:

“Inimicus” is Latin for “enemy.”  Pastor Denegare succumbed to political correctness by failing to affirm the exclusivity of Jesus Christ as the only way to heaven during a national television interview.  Was he afraid of losing his “empire” as a mega-church pastor?  He can’t sleep, and the longest night of his life is about to begin at midnight.  God removed the protective hedge around his church and his house.  Guess who moved in?  Just don’t read it before bedtime!

5-Star Reviews

Robert Moneypenny – “As good or better than “This Present Darkness.”

David Hecht – “Reminiscent of C.S. Lewis, John Bunyon and Frank Peretti.”

James Gorostola – “A must read!  I’ve read other books like it, however this book beats them all!”

Jay Ross – “Enjoyed every page, including the ending!”

Nancy Farner – “I was at the edge of my seat the entire time!”

Julia Woods – “I wasn’t able to stop reading!”

Arobiou – “I’ve read many books on spiritual warfare, but somehow this one has touched me like none other!”

Roz57 – “This book is definitely an eye opener!”

PortraitAbout The Author

Barry Knauer is a graduate of Trinity University and holds a bachelor’s degree in Christian Ministry.  He is Chairman of Deacons, Director of Men’s Ministries, and Men’s Bible Study teacher at First Baptist Church of Hollywood, Florida.
(This is a sponsored post.)