Athena Lee

Athena Lee
Brand new Books

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Book of the Week! Check out what I'm reading.

http://amzn.to/2t5tKj3

Welcome to Spellbound, where paranormal is the new normal.


Changes are afoot for Emma Hart now that her secret is out and her love life has taken a dramatic turn. With a mayoral election looming and a murderer on the loose, will life suddenly be a bed of roses for the plucky heroine or will she get pricked by the thorns?

A Touch of Magic is the seventh book in the Spellbound paranormal cozy mystery series.

This is a full-length, humorous cozy mystery novel.


Saturday, June 24, 2017

New Week, New Toy. My wife found this one at local craft store.

http://amzn.to/2t7XnTj

So i found another Unicorn on my desk today. Unicorn Popper. Its a unicorn that shoots at you. My wife got 2 of them so she can shoot me in the head. Merlin the Cat thought they were big fun! He chases the balls but doesn't bring them back. A retriever he isn't. If this sounds like something you want to torture your cat with Amazon apparently sells it. Go figure. 

Friday, June 23, 2017

This is the Last Snippet before Publication. Enjoy #07 from Night of the Unicorn!

<Unedited>

 If we could understand why, it might help explain what was happening to the Unicorns. Or I was taking us down a giant badger hole. Maybe it was time to wake the beast and force him to help us. I wonder if they deliver pizza this far out?

“This is the main Unicorn field. Males live out their lives here except when breeding or as young foals. Those stay in the main barn until weaning.” We could see a herd of white animals in the distance.

“Why are their manes different? I saw reds and greens on the group of females up front.”

Walter pursed his lips for a moment. “It’s a breeding thing. Certain traits carry forward with certain gene lines. We track and record which Unicorn is crossed with which. On occasion we have had to bring in a new male or female from Canada to enhance the lines.”

Glancing at Walter I asked the question that was bothering me. “What about Unicorns with blue manes? Do they exist as well?”

“Blue?”

“Yes, blue. Do you have any of them?” Both Cat and Bill carefully watched Walter.

“At this time, no. That is a rare line. We haven’t had one of those in more than ten years. I think. Robert would know. Why do you want to know?”

“No real reason. I just saw one of them recently and the colors surprised me, that’s all. How many Unicorns are here on the ranch?” I tried to change the subject.

“Several hundred. This blue you saw, was it at the British Columbia site?” Walter peered at me allowing the cart to slow down.

“No. It was in private hands.”

Without thinking Walter blurted out. “The only blue not on the farms is Ferg…”

When my eyes widened he shut right up in mid word. I felt a faint tickling at the very edge of my shield as they came slamming down! What was with this family?

My hand felt warm and a fireball formed in it lighting up my face. “No one touches the Witch!”

Walter recoiled backwards almost falling out of the cart. “Sorry!”

“I warned your Uncle and I will warn you. Manipulative Magick is against the law in this country. I will send you to Crowley prison in a heartbeat. Stop it.” Bill grabbed him and set him back into the cart.

“Finish the tour please.” Cat laid a clawed hand on Walter’s arm shocking him.

The rest of the tour was very quiet. We arrived at cabin nine and Walter practically threw us out of the cart. “Start sending the hired hands to us please, Walter. It’s just an interview. We are investigators. Talking to people is what we do.”

Cabin nine was what you imagine a dude ranch would be. Rustic is the word my grandmother might use. It sounds better than run down shack in a field. I think the paint was what was holding it together.

“People pay real money to sleep here?” Cat was trying to avoid touching anything.

Seeing the grease covered floor and windows I didn’t blame her. It looked as thought it hadn’t been cleaned in a century. “They do. According to my briefing material they pay a couple of thousand a season and they work for free as ranch hands. Sort of like that old movie City Folk. The one about that comedian Willy Clear?”

Bill perked up. “That’s one of my wife’s favorite movies. She just loves how they adopt the cow at the end.”

“Exactly. The come here and work for free earning more money for the Magnus family. It was a group of the tourists that reported the deaths along with the missing Unicorns.” I reached into my shirt pocket and pulled out our little protester setting him on the cleanest looking table.

“We know you’ve been listening this whole time Fergus. It’s time for you to talk to us. Please. If not for us, do it for the Unicorns that have died.” I looked down at him. He just stood there staring at his feet. “Fergus did you hear me?”

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Book of the Week. Fugitive of Magic by Linsey Hall

http://amzn.to/2tyl4Sh


In the city of Magic's Bend, I protect what's mine. No matter what.

To the world, I'm a just a Conjurer. To my closest friends, I'm a FireSoul--a dangerous Magica with forbidden powers and a dragon's soul. The downside? If anyone discovers what I am, I'm dead. So I lay low, kicking butt with my weapons, not my magic.

Things get ugly when I witness the murder of a powerful vampire ally and become the key suspect. Soon, I'm hunted by the sexiest, strongest supernatural I've ever met. Ares is an unheard of vampire hybrid, and it's hard to say if he wants to kiss me or kill me.

I've got three days to catch the real killer. The bad news? It will take my forbidden magic to succeed. But can I control it, much less keep my secret with Ares watching my every move? Especially when the stakes get ever higher?

I'm used to protecting others...now I have to protect myself. 

Fugitive of Magic is a fast-paced fantasy mystery with a kick-butt heroine, a tough hero, and magic that will blow your socks off.
 

Yet another Snippet! Here is the very first offering from Coven Codex -Book 2 in the Standard of Honor series

<Unedited>



Wham! A pained breath exploded out of Zhanna’s mouth as she slammed into the ground. Before she could even draw one more tortured breath, a boot against her side flipped her over to roll again and again until she crashed against a rock. Despite the pain in her side, the young woman erupted explosively from the ground, shoving off with one hand, while holding a small shield in the other. She was off balance, and out of position as she scrambled to her feet. Gasping for breath, she wrenched her body around to watch the man that was coming after her.

All that could be seen of him were his narrowed eyes over the top of his shield. The rest of his face was concealed behind the shield and his other hand steady on his sword. As he advanced, Zhanna was aware that he was staring at her intently, watching her eyes and aware of her shoulders. An expert swordsman watching for the indicators of potential movement. Feeling like a trapped mouse, Zhanna twitched her body to the left attempting to feint him into a misstep. It didn’t work.

She froze with indecision for a second. WHAM!

Her vision spangled with lights as she was caught from the rear by another assailant. Dammit! She had lost situational awareness. Now her shoulder hurt on top of everything else! << I’ve got to stop thinking in the middle of a battle,>> she thought just before another blow on her shield almost wrenched it out of her arm.

She was on the defensive, pinned between two opponents. What was she going to do!?

<<Move it, girl! >>

The urgency of the yell in her head caused Zhanna to make a dash for position. She chose in a split second and ran, not through the inviting opening between the two men but up the rocks and over. Coming just a split second too late behind her, the young witch heard the sword crashing down onto the rocks.

“Shit!” The roar of an outraged fighter split the air in a snarl of sound.

Zhanna managed a soft chortle as she gasped for air. She crawled and scrambled up the rest of the rocks, finding a position where her back was protected, and where her opponents could not come at her from all sides. Just for this one second, she had the freedom to take a deep breath. That respite was not destined to last for long. 

The two men that were attacking her approached her from different directions. They were about 100° apart and the angle was just wide enough so that she couldn’t defend against, or even watch, both of them at the same time. A small quiet part of her, tucked far back in her mind, could appreciate the skill in which they were conducting the attack. The rest of her that was sweaty, aching, and would have bruises from head to toe tomorrow, didn’t find it impressive at all.

The two men seemed to glide across the loose rocks toward her. Surefooted, well-balanced, they made her feel like a gawky child. Telling herself to focus, the witch set her stance and waited.
Her opponents advanced to within 10 feet of her. Staring at her intently for a few seconds, the taller of the two men straightened up and pulled his helm off. It was Stefan, looking oddly pleased.
“Not bad at all,” he said. “Your footwork could use a lot of improvement, but you’re getting better at not thinking in the middle of the fight. We almost had you, but you recovered well and got yourself into a defensible position.”

The second man chimed in, “That roll and scramble actually were really good moves. I was waiting for you to take the opening, which would’ve left you open to attacks on both sides. You are definitely starting to develop instincts in a fight.”

“Thank you, Mikhail. I knew that if it were that easy looking you would’ve had something nasty waiting for me. I just couldn’t think clearly of what else to do so I thought I’d get out from the middle of the two of you.”

Stefan responded, “That’s exactly what battle instinct is, Zhanna. Operating on your training and feelings is far faster than trying to think your way through something in a life or death situation.”
“I know, but it still was very hard not to try to use magic in any of this.”

Mikhail gave a short laugh, and answered her, “The point of this was to teach you how to fight when your magic is worn out. Magic users are very susceptible to exhaustion. When that happens, you have to fall back on your other skills and if you don’t have strong skills in actual weapons use you will be at a significant disadvantage.”

“I understand that and appreciate you guys drilling me on this. The only thing that I would change is…”

“What? What would you change?”

“I wouldn’t have you enjoy beating me with your swords so much.”

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Snippet Time! Check out a snippet from The Expanding Universe book 2

http://amzn.to/2tLAlyx
<Unedited>




“Science vessel Thanatos Rising to base, we are declaring a Code Alpha 1-5. Are you receiving us?” The Colonial Service science vessel had just dropped out of jump. The gravity well of the small system pulled at the ship forcing it to make minor course corrections.

Captain Jed Moulton looked at his communications specialist and shook his head. “No answer?”

“Not yet. They may think we’re dead. It has been six months, Sir.” The specialist like his Captain was wearing an environment suit complete with helmet.

“Try again once they get over the shock of us showing up they should return your call. I blame Governor Jenkins for telling them we were lost.” Jed tapped his gloved hand on his helmet.

“Sir! That wasn’t your fault. He was overrun and he panicked. Command will understand when you tell them the whole story.”

Jed looked at his subordinate again. “I hope you’re right Peter. If they don’t contact us we will have to change our plans. Go ahead and try and again, please.”

“Science vessel Thanatos Rising to base. Are you receiving us?” The specialist put his station on speaker. Everyone on the bridge could hear static and finally a voice respond to the call.

“That affirmative. Thanatos Rising we read your transmission. Welcome home! We heard that your ship was destroyed.” The voice on the other end sounded wary as well as excited.

Captain Moulton waved at Peter. He pointed to his own console. “Command this is Thanatos Rising, actual. Captain Jed Moulton. The reports of out destruction was greatly exaggerated. Governor Jenkins was under attack and panicked. I will explain when I submit my report.”

“Captain Moulton! Welcome home. Director Orlando has requested that you be debriefed before you are allowed to dock.”

“What! Command I have wounded that need immediate treatment. They could die if they stay out here any longer. On whose authority did those orders come from?” Jed pounded his gloved hand on the communication console.

“Mine, Captain Moulton. The orders were mine. The last report we had stated you and your crew were lost to the infection. Quarantine rules are in effect at this time Captain. Your injured will have to wait. I really am sorry. Now what happened out there Jed? It was supposed to be a routine visit. The initial report said a flu virus.” Director Giuseppe Orlando, Joe to his friends stared at his console waiting for the voice of his friend.

Jed exhaled loudly into his helmet and smiled when the face plate fogged up. He could remember the first time he wore one of these suits. It was when he served with the Director on the old Deaths Acre. Jed shook his head at the name. The Colonial Service had a wicked sense of humor when they named ships. Especially science vessels. “We received our orders while in orbit around Ceti Alpha five. That colony had an unexpected smallpox outbreak pop up when a load of new workers came in from Ceti Alpha three. At least two of the new men were using fake ID’s and were actually from Malchor four.”

“Four? That is a restricted planet! How did they get off?”

Jed chuckled. The man had the same reaction that he had. “According to them they paid off a security patrol. I have their confessions and statements locked in my safe. You can pass them along to the breakers if you like for me.”

“Fine, fine. Back to the case at hand please.” Joe stared at the speaker in frustration. Faster-than-light communication had been achieved but not video. Some sort of glitch in the math is what the egg-heads had said.

“We broke orbit and proceeded to Altern five as ordered. It took us three jumps to reach them. Were you aware that the Altern system has one of the largest asteroid fields in the known galaxy?”

“I did know that actually. Did you run into something?” The Director leaned back in his chair. He should of remembered that Jed liked storytelling his reports.

“An asteroid. The damage was minor but it delayed us by a day. On Altern five a day was like a week for the virus. Let me back up a bit. About a week before they screamed for help the planet was strafed by an asteroid storm. That sort of thing isn’t all that unusual except this time most of them broke up in the atmosphere. Only one large rock made it to the planet. It hit a settler’s house and destroyed a barn. The man of course investigated the rock. Many of the local asteroids have been know to contain rare elements or crystals. This time the rock had an organic core.”

Joe sat upright. Organic! “Jed, please tell me he didn’t touch it.”

“Why even ask me that? You know he did. He and his family were patient zero as far as we can tell. According to his son the core of the rock was glowing green and when his dad touched it it climbed his arm all the way to the elbow. The man tried to remove the green material using everything he had on the homestead up to using the sonic cutter.”

It was all Joe could do but shake his head. A man finds a class eight organism and he touches it. “What happened to him?”

“The sonic cutter didn’t do a thing except cause the organism to harden up. The family took him to the local hospital. Doctors investigated and couldn’t figure out what the mass was.”

The Director shouted. “Why the hell not! They are trained to watch for Class five and above lifeforms. What sort of hospital are they running on that planet?”

“Joe, they didn’t know. None of the family mentioned the asteroid until it was too late. As I was saying. They scanned it and couldn’t find a way to remove it. They were discussing amputation when one of the lab techs suggested chemical means. They tried several acids to no end result. It was only when they turned the oxygen up in the room to because the farmer was having a hard time breathing did they get any sort of reaction. The organism dissolved into a mass of flying insects or particles. We aren’t real sure what they were exactly. The vid cameras in the emergency room failed to show any real detail. It was then that they quizzed the family more strictly and discovered the class eight. But it was too late. They did quarantine themselves after exposure.”

Joe sighed and shook his head. Only three, now four, Class eight organism’s have been found. Each was unique and extremely dangerous. Just because no thinking aliens had been found didn’t mean that other things weren’t out there floating in space. “What happened Jed?”

“It presented itself as the flu. Or at least that is what every test they threw at it said it was. The Capital city ordered instant quarantine for all cities and towns. They really did try to keep it contained in the countryside. It spread so fast! The only way to avoid catching it was to stay at least fifty feet from the afflicted. It was then that they called for help. And as I said before, we got there a day later than expected.”

“If it was just the flu why scream for help. That doesn’t make any sense. Was there a mortality rate for the virus?”

“Yes and no. I’ll get to that in a moment. We landed the ship at the space port in Blake, the capitol city. Governor Jenkins met with us personally. The secondary symptoms presented themselves the day before we landed. Those afflicted began to lose all sense of being. They lost communication skills along with all cognitive motions. If they hadn’t been walking around you would think they were all coma patients. There were several accidents as well as many deaths as afflicted crashed aircars and machinery they were operating.”

“Operating? Jed are you telling me that sick people were actually working? Was the Governor mad?”

“Joe, calm yourself. It’s a colony world. Over ninety percent of the planet was infected with this thing. Only the Capitol was secure. Life still went on sick or not. We were just getting started examining several quarantined subjects when the Tertiary symptoms started.” Feeling a tap on his suit Jed looked to his left.

“Joe, did you send a ship out here to us? Our sensors are picking up a contact vectoring to our position.” The Captain nodded to his executive officer and pointed at the console in front of him.

“A ship? Hold on a moment Jed.” Director Orlando paused the speaker and caught the eye of the military commander.

Back on Thanatos Rising, Captain Moulton touched his helmet to that of the executive officer. “Report.”

“Sir, they sent a scout ship up. Military security protocol states that they dock with us and assess the situation remotely. The Director might not be aware of those procedures. We all forget about the military side of things. What are your orders?”

Jed looked at the plot for a moment. “Can they see us and the scout ship on their scopes yet?”

“I don’t think so. They know we are here from the tachyon field our engine puts out. The system detectors will allow them to pinpoint both ships but they they only know generalities not precise locations.” The executive officer pulled away and motioned to another suited crewman to his rear.

Touching his officer’s arm he pulled him closer. “Proceed with contact if they dock. Don’t allow anyone to report in if possible.”



Mysterious Hearts. A new Anthology from Phoenix Prime.

http://amzn.to/2sQwvaC 

This one is Special. Mongo from the Federal Witch is getting his own Series this summer and the very first story about him is in here! Mongo was unceremoniously drummed out of the FBI for "self medicating" while at work.  That didn't stop the big WerePolarBear. He returned to his home in Huntsville, Al and went work as a Private Detective. To keep himself in BBQ he works part time for his dad at the Bearly Naked Rib joint. His adventures are sure to be fun.


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Found another Unicorn

These things just keep popping up on my desk! My wife thinks she's funny.

http://amzn.to/2rKbzgH


I haven't figured out how to get the tape roll off of him as of yet. But if you want one of these for your own Desk, look for it HERE!

Friday, June 16, 2017

The Federal Witch Collection Book 1 is now available in Audio.

http://amzn.to/2sHyb63


This contains Books 0,1,2 in Audio. 

  • Born a Witch, Drafted by the FBI
  • Conjuring Quantico
  • Magical Probie

Taki Drake has a New Short Book out and it's cool.

http://amzn.to/2tuQ1G6
Author Taki Drake has a New short out and it's pretty cool. It will be the start of a new series for her.

Never underestimate those around you. This military science fiction tale explores the surprises that the universe holds when alien races, colonization, and society come together in a story of the relationship of command, the value of respect and building of teams. It highlights the risk of letting preconceived ideas cloud one's judgment. And why new officers should always listen to their noncoms.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Expanding Universe Book 2 is now Available.

http://amzn.to/2srbWAB




 Twenty-three talented authors. Twenty-three remarkable stories. One incredible science fiction collection.

The universe is expanding and these are some of its stories. Twenty-three bestselling and debut authors have created worlds where invasions are apocalyptic and space empires are in peril. The universe is beyond our understanding...and sometimes, what we don't know can kill us.

From gruesome alien invasions to epic space battles, the second volume of The Expanding Universe will expand your imagination. Explore the possibilities that our infinite universe holds with psychic hunters, brave soldiers who battle vicious invaders, and brilliant engineers who must act quickly to save their crewmembers. And only in The Expanding Universe will you find mercenary nuns.

Chivalry in space, pirates versus drones, a starship teetering on the edge of a gravity well, and space marines doing what they do best--kicking ass--will have you on the edge of your seat, turning pages long into the night to find out what happens next. And only in The Expanding Universe will you find mercenary nuns.

When we discover we're not alone in the universe, will you be prepared? Grab your copy of The Expanding Universe Volume 2 today and explore the worlds that these talented authors have created.

Defense of the Deep Space Denali by Craig Martelle
Self-Perspective by Amy DuBoff
Peyton's Legacy by S.M. Schmitz
Cassowary Raid by Drew A. Avera
Fox Hunt by Carysa Locke
Honor Duel by Kevin O. McLaughlin
A Prayer for the Faithless by David Bruns
Margolis Space Rescue by P. Joseph Cherubino
Venusian Uprising by M. D. Cooper
Destroy the Planet by T.J. Ryan
Boarded by Dale Furse
Space Colony One: Night of Flames by J.J. Green
Pirates vs. Drones by J.L. Hendricks and S.R. Witt
Space Cadets: Acid Slime by H.J. Lawson
Nun Shall Pass by Barry Hutchison
Intuition (A Galactic Warriors Prequel) by Monica Leonelle
Panic Button by Sam Maguire
Motherlode by Bill Patterson
Emergence by E.R. Starling
Mara's Honor by Taki Drake
The Drone Pilot by Brian J. Walton
Operation Solid Iron by James Osiris Baldwin
Dead in Space by T.S. Paul

Special Agent in Charge is NOW available in Audio

http://amzn.to/2sAX3wc

Snippet Time! Check out Snippet #06 from Night of the Unicorn

<Unedited>

“Could our bad guy be someone from the tribes? I mean they are right here with us.” Cat pulled up a map of Montana on her tablet.

“What do they have to gain Cat? You forget they are considered to be their own countries now. Why worry about what the Magnus family is doing when they have their own issues to worry about?”

Cat frowned and scrunched up her face. “What do you mean?”

“She means you should ask someone who was there at the time. There are or were almost three hundred Native American Indian reservations in the United States after the Demon War. A large number of the troops from the Southwest came from them. The war didn’t just take place in Europe. That maniac opened the gates to hell and the demons poured forth. Chaos is not how I like my world to be. I remember those times.” Ana paused and began circling the table. “As a country we managed to stay out of the early stages of the war. Our President kept us neutral even though we preferred to not sell to Germany. Then the demon sightings began. At first they were small and spread out. Prominent scientists claimed they were scouts or even lost demons from the war in Europe. That maybe, they tagged along by ship. Until the Hellmouth opened in California. I remember that day clearly. The radio reports at first claimed it was a hoax but soon the horror overcame it all. The War was here and it was real. Conception California was what it was originally called. Not much was there except a few tourists but the hole opened and out they poured. Santa Barbara was the first to fall. How Los Angeles didn’t get swarmed still surprises me to this day. Maybe it was the city of Angels. The National Guard was called in as was the military. We weren’t at wartime levels. Only about thirty-thousand troops were even in this country at the time. The only people that could get there fastest were home town militias and law enforcement groups. Thousands came from the reservations. I won’t get into details but the fighting was heavy. Lives were lost and even the politicians in Washington took notice. One of the first post-war suggestions was granting total freedom to both the Native tribes and the Weres. They deserved it.”

“Ana how do you know so much about the Demon war?” Chuck stared at her in shock.

“Everyone from that time period knew all of this. We needed to understand why sending troops to Europe was important. It was way before I joined the FBI. I got gathered up in one of the demon follower sweeps but that is a story for another time.” She paused giving Chuck a stare down.

“I had a very nice villa in the San Joaquin valley overlooking never ending fields of vegetables. I invested well and was trying to stay off most paranormal radars as well as that of the Government. I wasn’t exactly here legally at the time. After destroying San Bernadino to the South the swarm went North consuming San Luis Obispo. The Sierra Nevada Mountains are all that protected my valley from the coast. Flights of demons slid down them like kids at a water park. Many of the farm workers had no chance. My estate was protected but not from demonic Magick. I soon became one of the many refugees that were swept up by local authorities.” Ana threw up her hands.

“Sorry if I got off track. It was a trying time. After the war and destruction of the Demonic threat the reservations were set free. The Weres could leave if they wished as well as working openly unlike the past. The Natives were different. They already had lobby groups pushing for Independence and they got it. In spades. Each reservation was declared to be it’s own country having the sovereign rights as other countries have. President Long didn’t expect any of them to last without Federal assistance. But he was wrong. More than half are still in existence today.”

“Why not all of them?” Chuck asked.

“It brings us back to the original question. To be independent of our Government means no outside power, water, telephone, mail, and everything else we rely on to make life work. The tribal councils organized and managed to stay independent on more than two-hundred reservations. Many of the smaller ones were absorbed by the larger but the deal set forth by President Long was either you make it or you don’t. Land rights would revert back to the Government if you failed to make a go of it. Was it fair? No. But it did force the tribes to work together. The work they put forth along with the commitments they made are what earned them the two extra stars on the flag.” Bill pointed to the American flag on the wall with its thirteen stripes and fifty-two stars.

“That is what I meant by other commitments and issues. They are running a country. Officially they may not even be aware of the issue. We have to talk to the locals to find out. Tomorrow we’ll start with the locals and then the Blackfoot Nation. I’ve contacted Washington and they have sent a few guidelines for us to follow.” I took a big breath. “If you will excuse me I have a Unicorn and a potential crisis to head off. If you were traumatized by that place think how much Fergus was.” Standing up I gathered my notes. Anastasia and Chuck were at the motel when we returned. Now that we had both the SUV and the lab we could really get to work. But first I needed to console an old friend.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

New Anthology!

http://amzn.to/2sz4Avk

I have a Wilson story in this fine collection of stories from the Up and Coming Authors of Phoenix Prime. Get you Copy or read it for Free with Kindle Unlimited HERE!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Book of the Week

http://amzn.to/2stUnQW

 With all of magic at her command, Alydian is born to power. She and the other oracles serve the people, guiding kings and commoners with their ability to know the future. Yet despite Alydian’s power she cannot foresee the coming betrayal, for a rogue mage lurks in their midst, and plots an alliance with the mighty guild of Verinai. Under the guise of benevolence the Verinai offer their magic to all, while their expanding reach is noticed by none.

Except the Soldier.

Branded a traitor, wanted for murder, the mysterious man is no ordinary bandit. For six years he has hidden behind a mask, hunting Verinai with his band of Defiant. But now his war is about to escalate, for he has targeted Alydian to send a message, that even an oracle can be killed. Beset by foes, Alydian will require more than magic to survive, for if she cannot change her future . . .

She will fall to her fate.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

New Unicorn Doll.

I seem to be collecting a wide variety of Unicorns lately. It's my wife's fault. She brings these things home and leaves them on my desk.  This is the newest one. It's from an upcoming movie but should make a fine addition to my desk as well as a back-up Fergus (Sacrilege).

http://amzn.to/2sr2mhI
If you want one for yourself. You can Get it HERE! 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Snippet Time! Here is #05 from Night of the Unicorn

<Unedited>


“This is the main Unicorn field. Males live out their lives here except when breeding or as young foals. Those stay in the main barn until weaning.” We could see a herd of white animals in the distance.

“Why are their manes different? I saw reds and greens on the group of females up front.”

Walter pursed his lips for a moment. “It’s a breeding thing. Certain traits carry forward with certain gene lines. We track and record which Unicorn is crossed with which. On occasion we have had to bring in a new male or female from Canada to enhance the lines.”

Glancing at Walter I asked the question that was bothering me. “What about Unicorns with blue manes? Do they exist as well?”

“Blue?”

“Yes, blue. Do you have any of them?” Both Cat and Bill carefully watched Walter.

“At this time, no. That is a rare line. We haven’t had one of those in more than ten years. I think. Robert would know. Why do you want to know?”

“No real reason. I just saw one of them recently and the colors surprised me, that’s all. How many Unicorns are here on the ranch?” I tried to change the subject.

“Several hundred. This blue you saw, was it at the British Columbia site?” Walter peered at me allowing the cart to slow down.

“No. It was in private hands.”

Without thinking Walter blurted out. “The only blue not on the farms is Ferg…”

When my eyes widened he shut right up in mid word. I felt a faint tickling at the very edge of my shield as they came slamming down! What was with this family?

My hand felt warm and a fireball formed in it lighting up my face. “No one touches the Witch!”

Walter recoiled backwards almost falling out of the cart. “Sorry!”

“I warned your Uncle and I will warn you. Manipulative Magick is against the law in this country. I will send you to Crowley prison in a heartbeat. Stop it.” Bill grabbed him and set him back into the cart.

“Finish the tour please.” Cat laid a clawed hand on Walter’s arm shocking him.

The rest of the tour was very quiet. We arrived at cabin nine and Walter practically threw us out of the cart. “Start sending the hired hands to us please, Walter. It’s just an interview. We are investigators. Talking to people is what we do.”

Cabin nine was what you imagine a dude ranch would be. Rustic is the word my grandmother might use. It sounds better than run down shack in a field. I think the paint was what was holding it together.

“People pay real money to sleep here?” Cat was trying to avoid touching anything.

Seeing the grease covered floor and windows I didn’t blame her. It looked as thought it hadn’t been cleaned in a century. “They do. According to my briefing material they pay a couple of thousand a season and they work for free as ranch hands. Sort of like that old movie City Folk. The one about that comedian Willy Clear?”

Bill perked up. “That’s one of my wife’s favorite movies. She just loves how they adopt the cow at the end.”

“Exactly. The come here and work for free earning more money for the Magnus family. It was a group of the tourists that reported the deaths along with the missing Unicorns.” I reached into my shirt pocket and pulled out our little protester setting him on the cleanest looking table.

“We know you’ve been listening this whole time Fergus. It’s time for you to talk to us. Please. If not for us, do it for the Unicorns that have died.” I looked down at him. He just stood there staring at his feet. “Fergus did you hear me?”

“Sacrifices don’t come back. I told you that. They aren’t my herd again.”

“Don’t give me that. I saw how you reacted when we went to that museum with Jack. You hated that a Unicorn died to make that display they created. We all know that you aren’t a dumb animal. Help us find the killers or whatever it is that is making they disappear. Only you can talk to the herd.”

Kneeling down on the filthy floor I got down on his level. “Will you help us?”

“Whatever. I heard that guy start to say my name. I didn’t know they knew it.” Fergus looked up at us.

“Yes, that’s interesting. Agatha didn’t you say that someone must either understand Unicorn or speak human here on the ranch?” Cat looked at me.

“It’s what I think. How else would Fergus be able to describe things on the ranch to my grandmother and get the names correct? You would think an operation such as this would number the animals not give them names. So where do the names come from?” Cocking my head I stared at Fergus.

“My mother said I was named after my uncle Fergus who escaped and terrorized the town. That and that it was the name of a King.”

“A human King. There’s a Celtic king Fergus in our history as well as a cartoon one.” Bill pointed out.

“Didn’t you mention elders to Grandmother?”

Fergus trotted to the left then the right. “I might have. It was a long time ago. They are the oldest of the herd. They teach us the rules, language, and our history. Elders are supposed to know everything.”

Knock. Knock. Knock.

A loud almost pounding on the door made all of us look up. “Our interviews are starting. Fergus, can you listen to what they have to say? Let us know if you catch anything.”

“Sure.” He hopped onto my hand.

I stuck him back in his pocket space in my shirt. The seamstress the Grandmother uses is owed a huge hug from me when I see her. “Go ahead and let them in.”

Bill opened the door. Two men that can only be described as rough hewed stood staring at us. “Hello we’d like to interview you about the Unicorn deaths and mutilations. We are aware that others have already talked to you but we just want fresh eyes on everything. Is that OK with you?”

Both men shrugged and nodded. Taking one at a time we let the first man inside.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Shade of Honor is out! Get Yours Today!

http://amzn.to/2s0Dqh4


Bereft of their elders in magic, hired out to strangers to feed their families. Survival was a constant battle for the Russian Witches. Despised by other witches for their rigid focus on contracts, they were without a moral compass, honorless. That was not good enough for some. For the young witch, Zhanna, life was not worth living without honor – or her magic. Could she find both in her homeland? Would her desire and drive be enough to locate her shade of honor?

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Snippet Time! Check out #04 from Night of the Unicorn

<Unedited>


Are you sure you don’t want Chuck and I to fly with you?”

Raising my head I stared at her. “Ana, your secret?”

“The others haven’t asked but I assume they will. I can’t keep it forever.” Ana leaned back on the bed using her elbows to prop up.

“No. I promised to keep your secret and I will. You said yourself that the number of daywalking Ancients is very few. I would rather keep you as a secret weapon than allow everyone to know.”

Briefly I felt a hand graze my back. “Thanks Agatha. I wasn’t sure. Revealing my secret after so long was one of the hardest things I have ever done but like you Cat is my friend. I just couldn’t sit in the bus and watch her burn. Her healing powers might have saved her but I have seen… Let’s just say I’ve seen things and leave it at that.” Memories of torture and war filled Ana’s brain.

“Cat is like the sister I never had. For that I owe you much. I told her as much. There was nothing in that RV that I can’t replace. Even Fergus’s barn.” I chuckled at the remembrance of him finding out about the barn.

“Did he like the replacement Chuck found for him?”

“He says no, but I saw him stretched out in one of the rooms the other day. He still wants me to ‘pimp the barn’ as he puts it but the new phone I got him is bigger so he’s happy for now. He doesn’t want to help us with this new case.” I could only shake my head.

“Knowing his history I can understand. My people were part of the Unicorn trade once-upon-a-time. Is the Magnus family still involved?”

Turning my head I stared at her. “They are. How long have they been around?”

“If it’s the same family, centuries. I remember buying certain items from a member of that family in the 1700’s. But they predate even that. The Unicorn trade is varied. Step carefully when dealing with them Agatha. They are not dumb.”

“No. That I knew. Grandmother has had dealing with them. At one point my family were investors in the corporation. Let me save that for the plane. If you truly wish to leave the bus, I can’t stop you. But we will need the resources here.” I waved at the walls.

“Take the plane I’ll drive with Chuck. Enjoy the plane. I hear it’s one of the new ones.”


~~~~~~~~


Anastasia was right too. The plane the FBI acquired for us was one of the new ones.

“We get to fly on that?” Cat stared at the gleaming white aircraft with the blue stripes.

I smiled at my team. “Yup. That is Learjet 36. The military calls it a C-21a but this one has been modified just a bit. It is now permanently assigned to us, unless someone else in the FBI has a higher priority. It has a fight range of three-thousand miles and can carry all us and our gear if need be. Director Mills told me it’s been upgraded with all new electronics as well as special features just for us.”

“It looks different from the ones I’ve flown it before.” Bill walked around the aircraft. He ran his fingers down the sides of the wingtip fuel tanks.

“Bill, the engines and avionics are of military grade or at least that is what I was told by Washington. When did you fly on one of these?” I watched as he checked the underside of the plane.

“I told you I have a recreational pilot’s certificate right? I sat co-pilot on one of these a few years ago. It was the R-21 version of this one. The big difference was the wingtip tanks and some undercarriage mods.”

“That’s pretty cool Bill. Could you fly this one? If you had to, I mean.” It might be nice to have a back-up pilot on hand.

“It would depend on the avionics. Do you want me to ask the pilot about changes to the aircraft?” The older Agent had a big smile on his face.

“I bet you were planning to do that anyway. Go ahead. We can always use a back-up pilot but I’ve been assured that the two driving are some of the best in the service.”

A couple of loud horn blasts made me turn. Chuck and Ana were taking the bus off for the long drive to Montana. By road it was going to take them around thirty-five hours. That is if they don’t stop along the way.

“Let’s get loaded. We have a lot to talk about.” The stairs up beckoned.

It really was a nice plane. The FBI originally acquired this particular plane for use of senior Agents to supervise and schmooze with the upper crust of Washington and elsewhere. Budget cuts and other political effects almost lost the use of it to the FBI. But our success with the Strega and Dragon cases got us the use of it. Or at least that is what I was told. Taking Jack’s advice I watch my back carefully when dealing with Washington. Even though I trust Madeline I still watch my back. Even though she is a Director she’s still a politician.

Cat immediately plopped down in one of the leather chairs and smiled at me. “How did we rate this? I really was expecting another cargo plane!”

“Some of that was Jack. According to the Director he loved traveling that way. The bus just won’t fit on what we have available. This is our for the foreseeable future according to her. Success has its benefits. Enjoy it. We have a ton of work to do though.”

Bill stepped inside. “I bet we do if you want to get there this fast.” Glancing behind him he watched a member of the crew secure and lock the door.

“Guys, this is Cliff Murdoch. He’s the steward and all around go getter for anything we might need in the plane. Direct questions toward him as we fly. Our pilots are Captain Tom Tuttle and Jack Chester the co-pilot. They tell me it’s a short hop of about three hours to Fort Benton.” The steward greeted my team and did whatever stewards do.

The interior was arranged like a boardroom. Seats off to one side with a table and chairs on the other. Video screens built into the table as well as the main viewing walls. The rear of the plane was taken up with a small restroom and equipment storage bay.



~~~~~~~~



We were sitting around the table shortly after take off. “Finally. Sorry it took so long to get here but I really needed to see my mother.”

“Agatha, we understand. Family is important.”

“Thanks, Bill. It just makes me feel guilty. While I took time off several more Unicorns were lost. According to Washington about a half dozen Unicorns have vanished mysteriously. At first they thought it was rustlers but the body of one turned up butchered in a nearby farmer’s field. Wild animals found it before authorities so the local CSI units were unable to find anything conclusive.”

“Why are we being called in? This sounds like a local issue.” Anastasia popped up on the table video screen.

“It is. But the Spagyric Corporation owns this particular farm and they are huge supporters of the current administration. This one is politically related. I made promises to Director Mills to solve it regardless of political pressure because of Fergus. This ranch is where he came from. He’s going home whether he likes it or not.”

“Agatha, you mentioned the Spager corporation?” Cat stumbled over the word.

“Spagyric. In Greek it meant collect and extract, Early alchemists used the name to mean all of alchemy. Today it’s used by herbal practitioners. The ancient remedy process was salt, mercury, and sulfur.”

“Mercury can kill you! That was a remedy?” Chuck’s voice came from the video screen on the wall but the picture was blank. He was driving.

“Alchemy is fun that way. Almost nothing is literal when it comes to most alchemical remedies. Salt is an earth element, sulfur is fire, mercury represents the life force that binds them all together. If you know the key the recipes are helpful and can lead you to great power. Take them at face value and die a horrible death. As I said. Fun.” I had to laugh at their expressions.

“The Spagyric Corporation has been in the business of Unicorns and alchemy for centuries. Anastasia remembers dealing with them at least two-hundred years ago. My Grandmother claims they have been around much longer than that. The Magnus family controls it all. If it has to do with alchemy they are involved.” Pressing a button on my tablet a map with marked locations popped up on the screen. “Here in the US they have the Magnus Ranch in Montana, our destination. Several trading houses as well as a distribution center are located in Seattle, Washington. In Canada they run the Alicorn Ranch. It is British Columbia’s premier Unicorn ranch and resort. According to Grams it’s the best in the world even rivaling the facility in Tir Na Nog.”

“Tir Na Nog? Where is that? It sounds Celtic.” Bill looked up from the briefing documents.

“You would be correct. It’s located in a pocket universe only accessible through a portal in Cornwall. The Spayric corporation discovered the open portal in the 1700’s. Purchasing the land from the crown they built a structure over the spot and ran the English part of their company from it. It kept a secret for almost a century until the great reveal in 1914. They then began construction of a replica of Tintagel Castle on the site of the original which coincidentally is where the gate is. Today that part of Cornwall is the world headquarters for the company.”

Chuck’s voice interspersed with traffic noise came over the screen. “Tintagel. Why does that sound familiar?”

“It’s where King Arthur and Merlin did their thing. Don’t you read anything?” Cat snapped at him.

“You mean like the real Arthur? The guy with the round table, that Arthur?”

“Yes, Chuck. That Arthur. Inside the portal is supposed to be where his kingdom was located. Merlin’s cave and the original herd of Unicorns are there too. Grandmother claims that only company executives are allowed inside. My family have been stockholders since the birth of the stock market in Spayric and even they have never been inside it.” I was completely blown away when she filled me in on that place. It drove home to me the existence of the doorways and how much they affect our world.

Cat turned to me. “The Arthurian legends talk about a lot of people and places. Are they in there too?”