Dreaming in the Pages

Books ... where dreams are better than reality

Broken Pieces

Jack Canon's American Destiny

Saturday, May 3, 2014

NIGHT'S FAVOUR by Richard Parry @TactualRain #AmReading #Action #Fantasy

“We’ve got the prints back.”  Elliot banished the serenity with practiced ease.
Carlisle looked up from her computer — fucking thing — and gave her partner a stare.  “Prints?  From what?  The meticulously clean van?  Or from inside the bar with the ten thousand other prints?  No — you’ve got good news, I can see it from your face.  Something from the shotgun?”
Elliot’s smirk was almost unholy.  “You work too hard.  Maybe you should just take the rest of the day off.  Shoot some pool.  You’re clearly not made out for the long hours of real police work.”  He had a manila file, CONFIDENTIAL in faded red ink blocked out in capitals on the front.  He tapped on it with a finger.  “Leave this one to us.”
“You’re just sore you lost the bet.”
“I didn’t lose the bet.  It’s just been… deferred.”
“Deferred my ass.”  The murderer had been meticulous enough to stack the bodies in a single location, but had left two things out of place.  One, a body impaled on an elephant — sans head — and two, a severed hand.  The body had printed easily, ex-military records describing a man better off dead.  Sealed file, no name, but the memo from Defence had described an SAS officer deployed into Afghanistan, then dishonourably discharged.  The only thing longer than the crimes against noncombatants was the list of heroic missions.  The memo had politely suggested they contact Ebonlake Associates, a private security contractor known to pay good rates for men with moral flexibility.
It was on her to-do list.
No, the bet was all about the hand.  Elliot thought it had simply been misplaced, that they’d find a matching right hand, or maybe an arm.  Carlisle didn’t think so — the killer was too particular.  Forensics had done a pretty good job of assembling near complete cadavers from the remains, only a few pieces still out of place.  Smart money was on the hand belonging to someone who got away.
So far Carlisle was in the lead.  The hand hadn’t matched any of the bodies.  Sure, it was possible that it was all that remained of someone, but the killer hadn’t seemed to take trophies.  Complete corpses remained, albeit disassembled.  It wasn’t conclusive, but it wasn’t looking good for Elliot.
“Prints from the hand on the sidewalk.  Valentine Everard, works in computers.  Haven’t been able to track down his boss yet.  Everard’s on file — we got him for DUI a couple years back.”  Elliot flipped a page in the file.  “Here it is.  Vehicular homicide.”
“Let me guess.  He’s not turned up at the hospital yet?”  They’d thrown up nothing but dead ends at the ER when they called from the scene, the staff harried and unhelpful.  Yes, they were sure that they’d have noticed someone coming in without a hand.  Of course they’d call if something turned up.
“Nada.”  If anything, the smirk grew wider.  “So why’s a guy missing his left hand not turn up to the ER?”
Carlisle turned off her screen, grabbing her jacket from where it hung in a crumpled mess over the back of her chair.  “The only reason I wouldn’t go to the hospital is if I’d just killed twenty guys.”  One arm through her jacket sleeve, she scrabbled around the clutter on her desk for a notebook.  “What I don’t get is why you’re so happy.  This is only going to prove that I’ve won the bet.”
Elliot nodded.  “I just took your view, opened an office pool.  I might lose to you, but I’m going to win against — so far — five other fine detectives.”
“Even if you lose, you win?”
Valentine’s an ordinary guy with ordinary problems. His boss is an asshole. He’s an alcoholic. And he’s getting that middle age spread just a bit too early. One night — the one night he can’t remember — changes everything. What happened at the popular downtown bar, The Elephant Blues? Why is Biomne, the largest pharmaceutical company in the world, so interested in him — and the virus he carries? How is he getting stronger, faster, and more fit? And what’s the connection between Valentine and the criminally insane Russian, Volk?
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Action, Thriller, Urban Fantasy
Rating – R16
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 Connect with Richard Parry on Facebook & Twitter

Thursday, May 1, 2014

High Maga by Karin Rita Gastreich @EolynChronicles #AmReading #Fantasy #GoodReads

The energy of the forest pulsed at their feet, poised to respond to his bidding.
“There is your magic, Sir Borten,” Eolyn said, “Now here is what you must do. Bring together all the elements you just told me about, the earth beneath you, the air in your lungs, the water in your cup, and the fire in your heart. Imagine all of it coming together into a single brilliant point of light, and when you see that light, repeat these words: Ehekahtu naeom tzefur. Ehukae.”
The night thickened with his effort. After a moment, magic coursed up from the ground through his legs, filling his torso, wrapping around his heart. The strength of the vortex pulled a second current from Eolyn, and her magic tingled as it passed from her hands into his back. He drew a steady breath and exhaled the verse.
Eolyn withdrew.
Borten turned to face her. Steam rose from the water. His expression was incredulous, jubilant.
Eolyn clapped her hands in joy. “You see, Sir Borten? It is not so difficult after—”
Agonized screams ripped through her words. With a frightened cry, Eolyn took off toward the girls. She burst into the adjacent clearing and stopped short at the sight of a beast that swayed on long glowing limbs, a set of gaping pits where the eyes and mouth should have been. In one ebony-clawed hand it held Sirena, her chest torn open from throat to sternum, the shredded bodice black with blood.
Eolyn’s vision blurred. Her heart imploded. She clutched at her ribs, breath reduced to ragged gasps, knees buckling beneath her. Borten caught one arm and hauled her to her feet. Their eyes met.
All your senses open.
The knight released her and approached the monster with sword drawn.
Eolyn forced back the grief that had scattered her thoughts.
All your spirit focused on the task at hand.
Mariel crouched in the shadows, clutching Eolyn’s staff. Tears streamed down the girl’s face. Her shoulders shook like leaves on the wind.
“Mariel.” Eolyn’s voice was calm. “Set down my staff and climb the beech behind you, as quick and high as you can.”
“But Maga Eolyn—”
“Do as I say. If this goes badly, you are not to come down until dawn.”
With a sob the young maga fled up the tree. Eolyn called the staff to her. The water crystal ignited, casting an ivory light over the dwindling fire, illuminating the creature in full. The beast groaned, a needy howl born of insatiable hunger.
Eolyn stepped forward, coming around to Borten’s left.
“Stay behind me,” he ordered.
“Your sword may not be enough,” she replied.

Lands Ravaged. Dreams destroyed. Demons set loose upon the earth.
War strikes at the heart of women’s magic in MoisehĂ©n. Eolyn’s fledgling community of magas is destroyed; its members killed, captured or scattered.
Devastated yet undaunted, Eolyn seeks to escape the occupied province and deliver to King Akmael a weapon that might secure their victory. But even a High Maga cannot survive this enemy alone. Aided by the enigmatic Mage Corey, Eolyn battles the darkest forces of the Underworld, only to discover she is a mere path to the magic that most ignites their hunger.
What can stop this tide of terror and vengeance? The answer lies in Eolyn’s forgotten love, and in its power to engender seeds of renewed hope.
HIGH MAGA is the companion novel to EOLYN, also available from Hadley Rille Books.
Buy Now @ Amazon & Kobo
Genre – Epic Fantasy
Rating – PG-13
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Connect with Karin Rita Gastreich on Facebook & Twitter