AUTHOR – V.T. Do
Dawn of a Demon
“I think that’s our cue.” Ryker nodded to me, and we both darted over to Kasra, diving into the chaos.
Rushing past our target, I activated my own magic to get a whiff of Davian’s oozing from his body. I violently rubbed my nose, the smell of salty air burning past my nostrils. Water magic. Glad I didn’t take Ryker up on his bet.
The tip of my boot nudged something soft on the floor. I looked down to see the drunk, who had fallen flat on his back. His poor balance made it look like he was trying to stand up on a patch of black ice, his flailing arms knocking over everything in his way.
“I’ll get you for this!” The incoherent words babbling out of his mouth took me a moment to decipher.
“Doubt it.” I kicked him over with my boot, and he was officially down for the count.
When I returned my gaze to the room, half the bar had joined in on the fight, the noise intensifying to eardrum-rupturing levels. The three other men who had been sitting at the table with Kasra circled her, taking turns with their knives and magic, trying to take her down. She was ducking and dodging their attacks, smacking the men around with her bare hands. One of them leaned over to snatch a pair of kitchen shears from behind the bar and sent it flying toward her face. She stepped to the side, narrowly avoiding it, but the blades now had another target.
“Watch out!” I dove at a frightened bartender hustling toward the front door, who was about to be on the receiving end of the sharp object embedding itself into the back of her head. As I crashed into her, the pointed tip pierced me in the arm, ripping open my skin before clattering to the floor. I seethed at the burning pain that radiated from the shallow puncture wound, warm blood soaking into my plaid button-down.
“You’re welcome,” I insinuated, although I was certain she was too in shock to hear my words. The woman froze, let out a high-pitched shriek, then ran out of the bar and never looked back.
Ryker was battling his way through some angry patrons, using his magic to stab his knife through expertly placed portals and trying to prevent an angry mob from reaching Kasra. Glasses shattered across faces. Plates were thrown like deadly frisbees. Tables overturned and chairs flew across the room.
An overly confident man came charging at me with a fork, so I picked up the scissors from the floor and chucked them at him. Missing my mark, sharpened cat claws shot out of my fingertips. I lunged in his direction, my body contorting as he swung his fist at my jaw. As I twisted around him, my claws cleanly sliced four gashes up his forearm. The man’s eyes bulged open and he took a step back. The once fearless man dropped his utensil and scampered off in a different direction.
I winced as something heavy shattered against the back of my head. Whipping around, my foot crunched on broken glass from a liquor bottle. I skewered my next target with an unflinching stare and ripped a blue bullet from my belt.
Sleep powder exploded across his chest, and the man dropped to the ground with a thud, eyes rolling to the back of his head.
“Show women some respect,” I muttered to the unconscious man as I defied my own statement by grabbing a wooden chair and chucking it at a husky woman about to pounce on Ryker. Just beyond her, a man with dark-rimmed eyes and washed out skin concealed himself with a trench coat while he pushed through the rowdy crowd.
“Ryker!” I cried, pointing at Davian trying to make a run for it.
“Go get him!” Kasra insisted as she punched a pot-bellied hooligan in the gut.
She still hadn’t activated her magic. “I’ve got this.”
Fighting a brief curiosity to watch Kasra in heels and a skin-tight skirt take down a horde of savage men, Ryker and I took off, chasing after Davian as he left through the hallway and out the back door in the kitchen.
Christine is a pug loving foodie who has an unhealthy obsession with unicorns, and you’ll definitely see bits of that shine through in her stories. As a young child, she would put her imagination to work, pretending to live in a fantasy world where she could fly, fight the bad guys, and save the world. Although she could never master the art of flying, she did manage to eventually put all those ideas down on paper and is currently working on two series: Black Sheep and NightFly.
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Revenge de los Muertos
by Talis Jones
(Fifth Sun, #1)
Publication date: November 2nd 2021
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Selah’s biggest dilemma was trying to decide what to study in college. That is, until she stumbled across a clue to the grandparents she’d never met and hopped on a plane to Mexico where she would discover an entire hidden world of magic and monsters. Her best friend was a bruja, the Chupacabra was more than a myth, and she’d inadvertently caught the attention of the terrifying Blood King with beautiful golden eyes. What started as a two-week vacation quickly devolved into an adventure she might never return from.
Día de los Muertos had almost arrived and the monsters were on the hunt.
“G’night,” Noa yawned finally before claiming the remaining bedroom next door.
I moved to shut my own door when Rafael prowled past, likely heading towards his own room at the end of the hall. At least I guessed it was his as it was the only door kept firmly shut. Seeming to sense my gaze, he pivoted and met me at the doorway. Leaning against the frame with his arms crossed he stared deep into my eyes almost as if searching for answers in there though he must not find them because a frown quickly tugged at his mouth.
“How did you and your friend meet?” he asked curiously.
My fingers fiddled nervously with the doorknob as a fond smile lit up my face. “School. We’ve gone to the same school since I can remember and she was always in my classes, sitting with me at lunch, wanting to be my friend. Noa is pretty direct. When she decides something, she makes it happen.”
“I can see that,” he nodded tersely.
Wanting to smooth things over, I thanked him. “I’m really very sorry about the mix up, but thank you for letting us stay. We really don’t mind finding a hotel tomorrow,” I assured him. “This is your home and we don’t want to intrude.”
Something I said, though I couldn’t guess what, caused his lips to twitch. “You are free to stay. I do not mind.” I arched an eyebrow and he released an amused huff. “Much,” he amended.
“Well, thank you,” I offered again. “You are very kind and generous to offer.”
“Not many would use those words to describe me,” he shook his head, his voice low enough that I wasn’t sure I was meant to hear him.
“Then they don’t know you,” I answered anyway. It was an impulsive response because I didn’t know him beyond his name and yet it felt right. Or maybe I was just a people pleaser like Noa teased me of being.
Even if offered in ignorance, my words made him pause. “Call me Rafi,” he smiled. Then with a shove off the door frame, he resumed prowling towards his room.
Leaning out into the hall, I called softly so as not to disturb Noa, “Goodnight, Rafi.”
He sent me a final glance. “Buenas noches, Selah.”
Talis Jones is a Mexican-English author of magic and mischief. Graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in Theatre she has explored both stage and film, now finding herself drawn towards the literary world as a new venue for storytelling.
Dog mom, Broadway enthusiast, and life-long bibliophile, Talis currently resides in North Carolina.
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