Book Blitz & Excerpt: Resisting the Dream + Giveaway

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Resisting the Dream, by Ann Marie James

Book 3 in the Everyone’s Mechanic series

Word Count: 57,607
Book Length: NOVEL
Pages: 233

Genres:

ACTION AND ADVENTURE
CONTEMPORARY
EROTIC ROMANCE
GAY
GLBTQI

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Book Description

Nikolai is the fun-loving, flamboyant cousin of Sergei Barinov. He doesn’t know a lot about cars but is happy working as the desk person at Everyone’s Mechanic while he completes his doctorate in finance and accounting. While his parents never accepted who he was, he at least had Cousin Sergei’s family to love and support him. Comfortable in his own skin, he dresses according to his mood, which could be a skirt and makeup or sweatpants. He has crushed on Brandon since he met him but has never been able to be around him without doing something embarrassing. He would love a chance to show Brandon that he’s not just style without substance.

Brandon began interning with Sergei’s company in college and has since worked his way up to be his right-hand man. He is very regimented, likes his routines and needs to stay focused to complete his many duties for Sergei. Brandon is also balancing secretly raising his now-fifteen-year-old brother. He has watched from afar as Nikolai went from being a gangly, awkward teenager to a stunning adult. Brandon might wish he could take the time to get to know Nikolai better, but he doesn’t feel he can add one more thing to his already-full plate.

When Sergei tasks the pair to work together to plan an LGBTQ youth center, sparks fly. Will they decide to take a chance—or will outside forces ruin the possibility before they can even get started?

Reader advisory: This book makes references to addiction, alcohol, attempted violence and drug use.


Excerpt

 

“You have a bruise on your cheek. What the hell happened?”

“Would you believe I ran into a door?”

Sergei widened his stance and put his hands on his hips, giving Nikolai his sternest stare. Nikolai rushed to explain. “Seriously, I saw Brandon going into your building yesterday afternoon as I was leaving, and I was so busy watching him that I ran right into the doorjamb.” Nikolai grimaced. “Not my finest moment, to be sure.”

Sergei’s stern expression morphed into an amused one and he coughed into his hand while avoiding eye contact with Nikolai. When their gazes met, Sergei lost the fight and laughed until he had tears running down his face and had to lean against the counter to support himself.

Nikolai shook his head in disgust at his cousin’s antics. “Yeah, yeah. Laugh it up. You do realize you probably just got grease on your suit, right?” Working at a garage had its advantages, including the apartment he was able to rent above the business, but spic and span cleanliness was not one of those perks. Oh, the owner, Kirk, ran a tight ship and everything was as clean as possible, but it was still a garage. It was Nikolai’s turn to laugh as Sergei looked down at himself to search for dirt on his custom suit.

Sergei took a swipe at his jacket before shrugging and looking back at Nikolai.

“So, why are you here?”

“I need a favor.”

“I figured.” Nikolai made a rolling hand gesture to try to encourage Sergei to spit it out.

Sergei’s forehead furrowed. “I’m a little concerned, though, that you won’t be able to complete this favor without causing yourself bodily harm.”

“What? Why?”

“I need you to work with Brandon on a project.”

“You need me to work with your personal assistant, Brandon Whitaker, on a project? But he hates me.”

“He doesn’t hate you.”

“Doesn’t know what to do with me then?”

Sergei shrugged one of his massive shoulders as Nikolai wished for the thousandth time that he had gotten some of Sergei’s six-foot-plus height and size. Alas, he was stuck at a measly, svelte five-foot-seven. “I can’t deny that. You confuse him, for sure, but he does respect you. He loves the reports you set up for him while you were interning last summer.”

“He was shocked I could even do spreadsheets and reports, though. He thinks I’m an idiot.”

“Only because you turn into a nervous klutz whenever he is around. A doorjamb? Really?”

“What? There’s something about him that does it for me—brown hair, brown eyes, six feet tall, those broad shoulders… Yum. What’s not to love? I know intellectually that nothing will ever come of it. Have you seen the women who come to meet him for lunch?”

“Yes, I have, and I also know none of them last more than a month.”

“He’s not gay. The number of women he takes out makes that very clear.”

“I don’t think he’s as straight as he pretends to be.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean he watches you when you aren’t looking.”

Nikolai waved his hand in the air. “He’s just trying to figure me out. As you said, I confuse him. He’s not a man who likes to be confused. He’s the man with a plan for everything.”

“Exactly my point—and I don’t think he planned for you.”

“Whatever. What is it you needed me to work on with Brandon?”

“I would like you guys to work on plans for an LGBTQ center—a place where teens can come to either hang out or to get help, counseling, the whole nine yards. I want to offer classes as well—financial ones like budgeting and checkbook balancing as well as cooking and other basics. Maybe you can talk to some of the instructors at that dojo you go to and see if they would teach some self-defense classes too. The statistics for homeless youth—especially gay homeless youth—are scary, and I want to do something about it. It will be open to all but mainly to support the community.”

Nikolai was getting excited about the project. The center was something that was desperately needed there in Raleigh and elsewhere. He felt a slight twinge at Sergei’s casual dismissal of his time spent at the dojo. He wasn’t sure what his family thought he did there three-to-five days a week, but obviously it wasn’t learning any of the skills they taught, but that was partly his fault as he’d never told them when he’d received his different color belts. It was something private for him.

He was snapped out of his ponderings by the ding of the door sensor as someone else came in. He opened his eyes wide when he realized it was Brandon. He went to stand, the chair slipped back too fast and he almost fell, catching himself with a hand on the desk, just in time. Nikolai flushed with mortification as his cheeks got hot and he ducked his head, pretending to search for something on his desk in a sad attempt to seem like he had everything under control. Snagging a pencil, Nikolai pulled his long, wavy blond hair up in a messy bun on top of his head, and shoved the pencil in to secure it.

He glanced up after a moment to find Sergei staring at him in exasperation then turning to greet Brandon. “Hey, Brandon, thanks for giving me a minute with Nikolai before coming in. Nikolai is really excited about the project.”

Nikolai took a deep breath to compose himself then turned to face Brandon. “Nice to see you again, Brandon. This should be an interesting project. I look forward to working with you on it.” There. That wasn’t too psycho.

“Yeah. It will be a challenge, but I think we can come up with something great. I know you’re pretty busy with school and here, so when do you think we can meet to get started?”

“Well, I’ve already successfully defended my thesis, so my load at school is pretty light. I’m just waiting on graduation now.”

Sergei’s gaze snapped back to Nikolai. “Wait! When did that happen?”

“A couple of weeks ago,” Nikolai said with a shrug.

“Why didn’t you say anything? We should have celebrated.”

“Well, first you were in London at that big conference, then you hibernated with your hubby for the weekend and didn’t come to family dinner. It just kind of got lost in the shuffle.”

“Did your family go to your thesis defense, at least?” Sergei asked, frowning.

Nikolai couldn’t quite hide his grimace. “Um, your parents and Sasha came. My parents couldn’t make it. It wasn’t a big deal.” Nikolai didn’t even believe himself, so he knew Sergei didn’t.

“We’ll discuss this later.”

“Nothing to discuss.”

Sergei scowled at him. “There’s a lot to discuss, but first, do you definitely want in on this project?”

“Of course, I’m in. It’s important.”

“Agreed. So, when are you available to meet on it?”

“I have sessions at the dojo tonight and tomorrow morning, but I’m free after that. I know tomorrow’s Saturday, so we can postpone to next week if you guys need to.”

“Saturday afternoon works for me. What about you Brandon?”

“Yep. That works. I have somewhere to be in the morning as well, but I will be free about noon.”

“Great. How about we meet at my house then? I’ll feed you all lunch.”

“Sounds good,” Brandon and Nikolai answered together. Nikolai could only shake his head at himself after the bolt of arousal that went through his system when he made brief eye contact with Brandon’s brown-eyed gaze. He hazarded a small smile at the man, but Brandon didn’t respond, instead breaking the connection and turning toward Sergei. “Okay. Glad that’s settled. We need to get moving. We have that meeting at two o’clock with the planning commissioner about your new property on Fayette Street.” Brandon then turned and walked out of the door after a head nod to Nikolai.

“Plan to stay after the meeting to continue our discussion about your thesis defense.”

“It really wasn’t a big deal, Sergei. You know my family doesn’t understand or approve of me and my ways.” Nikolai put air quotes around the ‘my ways’, as it was a common phrase from his mother. His mother and father were not the warm and supportive parents that Sergei’s were. Nikolai’s father was very much about toxic masculinity and a woman knowing her place in the world. Nikolai did not fit his father’s definition of a good son at all, so he was ignored—and that was fine with him. It really was, but Sergei never understood, mainly because Nikolai’s father was always on his best behavior whenever Sergei was around, thinking he could use his connection with Sergei for his own needs in some way.

The truth was—and one his father would never admit—that Nikolai’s father was both scared and jealous in equal parts of Sergei’s power. He felt that as the older Barinov male, he should have been the one to have the influence and wealth that Sergei had accumulated and that Sergei should seek his council like he was smarter, because of his age. Sergei was actually one of the most intelligent people Nikolai knew, and that was saying something because Nikolai had been going to school forever.

Sergei was also one of the hardest-working people he knew, with Brandon being right up there with him. Brandon was truly Sergei’s right-hand man, and Nikolai wasn’t saying that because he had a major crush on the man either. Part of the reason he had such a crush on him was because he worked so hard and was so dedicated to Sergei. Nikolai’s father was lazy and dedicated only to himself. Sad, but true.

Sergei interrupted his thoughts, and Nikolai scrambled to remember what they were talking about. “Not. The. Point. I don’t care how your parents feel about things. This is about communication between you and me. We will discuss it Saturday. Da?”

“Da, Sergei,” Nikolai conceded grudgingly.

“Good. I will see you tomorrow.” Sergei then followed Brandon out of the door.

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About the Author

Ann Marie James

Ann Marie James is fluent in two languages, English and sarcasm. She believes that you will never learn anything new if you don’t read as much as you can, and/or talk to every stranger you meet. She always looks for the best in people and to treat people the way she wants to be treated. Above all Ann Marie believes in love, whatever form it takes. Relationships are hard, love is the glue that keeps it together.

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Book Blitz & Excerpt: Hex and the Single Girl + Giveaway

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Hex and the Single Girl, by Alexis Fleming

Book 3 in the Lucifer Inc! series

Word Count: 25,039
Book Length: NOVELLA
Pages: 99

Genres:

ANGELS AND DEMONS
CONTEMPORARY
EROTIC ROMANCE
FAKE RELATIONSHIPS
PARANORMAL
SECOND CHANCE

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Book Description

How’s a hexy chick gonna get laid if even breathing is an adventure sport?

Sabrina—Sabby to her friends—is a hex, a pariah. Even Lucifer crosses the road to avoid her. Everyone avoids her…except the sex-mad humpomaniac imps, that is. Chaos demons are known for…well, chaos. And for Sabrina, chaos equals misery, until she’s dragged to Earth by literary historian Jude Morrisey. Human, good-looking and definitely sex on legs, Jude is enough to set her libido on high alert. Now if she can just keep her chaos magic from ripping his life apart, things might be looking up.

When Jude accidentally summons a demon, his staid bachelor world erupts into an unholy mess. Someone’s sabotaging his career and his job’s almost down the gurgler. Sex-crazed imps invade his house and hump his appliances. The biggest shock of all is the sexy Calamity Jane who appears in his attic insisting she’s his jinx.

Harmony, peace and his staid life are out of the attic window, but here’s the thing… Can he keep his hands off the delectable walking disaster long enough to work out what’s going on?

Anarchy, bedlam, chaos… It’s all in a day’s work for a hexy chick.

Reader advisory: This book contains a brief scene of violence and attempted murder.

Excerpt

“Now that’s just plain tacky, girl. I hope you don’t plan to wear that outside. Oh, and I have to tell you… Those high heels just don’t go with that outfit.”

Sabrina—Sabby to her friends—spun about and stared at the woman who’d appeared without so much as a peep in the dark recesses of the library. She instinctively raised her arms and tried to cover her breasts, but this stupid costume didn’t have enough fabric to even manage that. Forget the rest of her body. It just wasn’t going to work.

“I don’t plan on wearing it anywhere, Aunt Luce,” she responded before directing a dark frown at the other occupant of the room. “Brel-ez figured he’d try to talk me into wearing it for the imps’ party tonight. I only tried it on to show him how ridiculous it was. And by the way, a little sonic boom or some hellfire or something to announce your imminent arrival might have been nice.”

“I am Lucifer, Supreme Ruler of Hell. I go where I please, how I please.” She drew herself up to her full height, her eyes flashing red sparks.

It took all Sabby’s willpower to keep a straight face. It wouldn’t do to annoy her Lordship by laughing at her, even if it was funny. Aunt Luce wasn’t much more than five feet three inches tall, but what she lacked in stature, she made up for with presence. As the ruler of Hell, she was a formidable lady and a dangerous opponent.

“Sorry, Aunt Luce. I didn’t mean to offend you. I’m just a tad embarrassed to be caught wearing this.” She gestured to the outrageous outfit.

“I would think so. It’s nothing short of disastrous. Human or demon, no woman should be seen in this.”

Lucifer frowned as she walked a circle around Sabby, her high heels clacking on the flag tiles that made up the floor of the dungeon-library. She shuddered when she stood in front of Sabby again.

“Leopard print is so out now, and that itty-bitty G-string is…” She broke off and shuddered again. “Doesn’t it hurt your girly bits, pulled up between your butt cheeks like that? And the rest of it… A flimsy scrap of material over a bra that barely covers your boobies and nothing but transparent scarves attached to a band around your waist. What is this? The dance of the seven veils? If you want to change your image, girl, you’d do better to emulate me.”

Sabby had to fight to control her emotions again. There was no doubt that Aunt Luce had a distinctive style. She looked like everyone’s idea of a cuddly grandmother. Slightly chubby—although Sabby would never tell her that—she mostly favored twin sets and pearls teamed with a tweed skirt. Her hair was a snowy-white halo that curled around her face. She did, on occasion, tip the ends with vibrant reds and purples to match whatever-color shoes she had on. Sporting long nails—or more correctly ‘talons’—she matched her shoes with her nail polish. And those shoes? Nothing but three-inch-high stilettos in bright colors for Aunt Luce. Today’s color was scarlet.

Before Sabby felt forced to comment on Lucifer’s suggestion, Brel-ez decided to get in on the conversation.

“Your most magnificent Lordship, please tell Sabby she must attend our fancy-dress party tonight. She has to be there. She’s our queen.”

Lucifer rounded on him. “Queen? There is no queen but me. King. Queen. Lord. I am Supreme Ruler. I am all of them—and don’t you forget it.”

Brel-ez, captain of Lucifer’s Herald and head imp, shrank down, which was pretty difficult, given that he was only three feet tall. His little pointy red horns actually quivered as he tried to abase himself before Lucifer.

“So sorry, your Lordship. So sorry, but I found a prophesy in an old book and I’m sure it refers to Sabby.”

“I told him it’s all rubbish, but he won’t believe me,” Sabby chipped in.

“What prophesy?” Lucifer’s voice thundered throughout the library.

Holy Hell, Aunt Luce is really getting angry. Sabby just prayed that Brel-ez could extricate himself from this before Lucifer zapped him out of annoyance.

Brel-ez quickly retrieved a slip of paper from the pocket of his red-and-gold uniform and read it out loud.

“When the small stand up and fight against the law,

When the hungry hold out their hands asking for more,

When the greedy profit to improve their lot in life,

Unconcerned that their everlasting legacy is strife,

When pandemonium erupts and floods the world above,

Then the queen of chaos reigns—and the winner is love.”

Brel-ez shoved the paper back into his pocket and held out his hands to Lucifer. “See? Sabby’s a chaos demon, the only one living down here in the first level of Hell. It must be her.”

Lucifer burst out laughing, all her anger appearing forgotten. “Oh, you silly imp. That’s no prophesy. Bet you found that in an old diary buried here in the library, yes?”

Brel-ez nodded.

“My great-great-great grandfather fancied himself a poet. That’s one of his—and not a prophesy at all. And I’m the queen of chaos. You got that?”

Brel-ez nodded again and opened his mouth to speak. Before he could, Lucifer held up one finger.

“Is it important?”

“Definitely, your Lordship.”

He nodded so hard that Sabby was certain he was about to lose his head. And he would if he didn’t watch what he said to Lucifer.

Aunt Luce sighed. “Get on with it, Brel-ez.”

“Sabby has to come to the party. Otherwise, how else can she get la—?”

“Brel-ez,” Sabby shouted. Damn it, can’t that imp keep his mouth shut for once?

Now Lucifer turned her attention back to Sabby, her eyebrows raised in question. There was no way she’d back down if she didn’t get an answer straight away.

“She wants to get laid,” Brel-ez shouted.

“Way to keep a secret, imp.” She scowled at the little captain with the cocky grin spreading across his face. She turned to Lucifer. “I’m a twenty-five-year-old almost-virgin. Why shouldn’t I get laid before I bury myself down here in your damp dungeon?”

“It might have been a dungeon in the past, but it’s my library now. And I’ll have you know that there’s no dampness down here. It would ruin the books.” Lucifer frowned as she stared at Sabby. “Well, I guess there’s nothing wrong with going to Brel-ez’s party, but I’d choose another costume if I were you. One deep breath and those boobies of yours will pop over the top of that scrap of a bra.”

Brel-ez burst out laughing. “Hey, Sabby, that will sure get you a lover for the night.”

“Oh, be quiet, Brel-ez,” Sabby snapped, holding her hand over her chest as she dragged in a choppy breath. “It just so happens that I don’t want a demon to teach me all about the joys of sex.”

“Just because you look human and can’t change shape or form, you’re still a demon, my girl. What’s wrong with a demon lover?” Lucifer demanded.

“I’d rather practice on a human man—a real one. I screwed up every relationship I ever tried when I lived above. I want to give it one last shot, to see if I can make it work. Hopefully, now that I’m older, I won’t create as much of a mess as I’ve done in the past.”

Lucifer snorted. “You’re a chaos demon, girl. Of course you’re going to leave behind disorder and mayhem. And you know why? Your parents never got around to teaching you how to control your powers. Instead, they just shipped you off to me when it looked like your uncontrolled magic would expose them as demons. No thought for you at all. If your mother wasn’t one of my best friends…”

Sabby winced as Lucifer actually growled. She couldn’t really blame Aunt Luce. She’d been a trial for her parents from the time she’d been born. By the time she’d hit puberty and started to notice the opposite sex, the problems had simply gotten worse. Everything she’d tried her hand at, whether it had been jobs or relationships, had ended in disaster. Now here she was, buried in this dark library where she couldn’t cause any problems.

She sighed. “I’m sorry, Aunt Luce. I know I’m a misfit, but I do try. In fact, I think I am doing better. The library has run without a hitch for a couple of years now. I just want this last shot. If I screw it up, I promise I’ll come back here and never complain again.”

Her heels clacking on the flagstone floor, Lucifer moved close enough to give Sabby a hug. “Sabrina, you’re one of my goddaughters. I want you to be happy.” She grimaced. “I don’t apologize often, but I am sorry I parked you down here in this dark old dungeon. I should have taken you in hand and taught you how to use your magic, but I took the easiest way out.”

She released her hold on Sabby and strode across the room before turning to face her again. “You think this will make you happy? Getting down and dirty with a human male?”

Sabby chuckled at Aunt Luce’s turn of phrase. “I’d like to at least give it a go.”

“Hmm-m,” Lucifer mused. “Anyone in mind? It has to be someone who pushes your buttons.”

Someone who pushes my buttons?

Oh yeah! There was one person who came immediately to mind. When Sabby had been a kid, her best friend and neighbor had been a girl called Brianna. They’d been more like sisters than friends. They’d done everything together, and Sabby had loved spending time at Brianna’s home—but not just because Brianna had been her best mate.

Brianna had an older brother. He was eleven years older than she was, but he was oh-so-sexy. Sabby had hero-worshiped him, but as time had gone on, that had morphed into the biggest of crushes. By the time Sabby had reached her later teens, he had moved out, but Sabby had hung on his every word whenever he’d come to visit his parents.

Brianna’s folks had been terrific. Never once had they chastised her for her klutzy behavior. They’d just kept telling her she’d grow out of it eventually. And when Brianna’s brother came to visit, Sabby had followed him about like a bad smell, falling over her feet to keep up with him. Heck, even falling over his feet.

She smiled at the memories, wondering for a moment what had happened to him. Heat suddenly invaded her mind. Sabby frowned. For a moment there she could have sworn that invisible fingers had done a quick tour through her memories, one after the other—like someone—or something—hastily flicking through the pages of a book. Weird.

Sabby shook her head. Then, with a determined effort, she buried all thoughts of her juvenile crush in the back of her mind. Nothing had come of it and never would. It was time she settled for whatever she could get.

“No, no one special, Aunt Luce. I’d just like to go back above for one last time.”

“Well, in that case—”

“Nooo,” Brel-ez broke in. “Sabby has to come to our party. What am I going to tell the demons I’ve lined up to scr—er, romance her?”

“Brel-ez, you didn’t…? I don’t believe you’d do that to me,” Sabby said.

“I was just trying to help,” the little demon whined.

This time Lucifer cut him off. “I’m the one who makes the decisions here in Hell. You don’t get to say what happens in my domain.” She flicked out her hand and a spear of white-hot light erupted from the tip of one finger. It zeroed in on Brel-ez and zapped him on the rear end. The imp let out a yelp and smacked at the smoldering fabric of his pants.

Lucifer turned back to Sabby. “And you, missy. Is this really what you want?”

Sabby nodded, unable to say a word in case her godmother changed her mind.

“Then so be it. I’ll give you a month. After that, regardless of what happens, you come back here. Okay?”

Before Sabby could nod, a sonic boom resounded throughout the library. Pungent smoke swirled about Sabby and caught in her throat. She started to shake. First there were vibrations deep in her belly. Then they spread out to totally encompass her whole body. There was time for one last thought before Sabby disintegrated into a stream of airborne atoms.

Yeah, baby, let’s get to the sex part.

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About the Author

Alexis Fleming

Alexis Fleming writes stories dominated by sassy women and sexy macho men, by mouthy shifters and the odd delicious demon. You’ll experience crazy, laugh-out-loud moments as you live vicariously through the antics of her characters. The magic of the paranormal and the suspense of a mystery to solve will tantalize all the way until the end.
Based in north Queensland, Australia, when Alexis is not interfering in the lives of her imaginary friends, she’s happy to get caught up with family and help her daughter, author Kelly Ethan, plot her next murderous adventure for her stories.

Nothing like keeping it in the family.

You can find Alexis at her website.

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Book Blitz & Excerpt: Ultraxenopia + Giveaway

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Ultraxenopia
by M.A. Phipps
(Project W.A.R., #1)
Publication date: December 1st 2020
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult

Betrayed by Family. Tortured by the Enemy. Destined to Destroy the World.

Wynter Reeves lives by three rules: Don’t stand out. Blend in. Remain invisible. In a world where individuality is dangerous, being forgettable keeps her alive.

Until she begins showing signs of a rare disease, drawing the unwanted attention of the State’s sinister research facility, the DSD. Apprehended against her will for testing, Wynter becomes the subject of the mysterious Dr. Richter, who is determined to make sense of her condition.

However, Dr. Richter’s intentions are less than noble, and after months of horrifying experimentation, Wynter jumps at the chance to escape her captors. But freedom isn’t what she expected, and as her symptoms worsen, she must make a choice. One that will determine not only her future…

But the fate of the world.

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EXCERPT:

When I open my eyes, the exam room is gone.

I turn around in my seat. The pain that consumed me before has diminished, but it’s replaced by fear, confusion, and disbelief, which all attack me at once, overpowering the part of my brain that might actually be able to comprehend what’s happening.

Is this a dream? A hallucination?

My legs quake as I push to my feet, my fingers clutching at the chair to hold me to the one real thing in this delusion. The air is thick with dust, but through the impairing fog, I recognize my surroundings. I glimpse the familiar sight of the Heart in the details crumbling around me. But there are no people crowding the streets. No lights. No sign of life at all. There’s only me, standing here all alone, as the world I once knew succumbs to destruction.

Panic boils beneath my skin, squeezing my lungs in a vise grip. My eyes close on instinct, but some unseen power wrenches them open again, forcing me to watch every second of this nightmare. To see what I can only assume must be the end of the world.

In the blink of an eye, the destruction explodes in a torrent of flame, devouring everything. A blinding flash burns across my vision, but when it clears, the desolate landscape is nowhere to be seen.

Did I just imagine that?

Sweat suctions the thin fabric of my clothes to my body, and I wince away from the horrible screaming that it takes me a moment to realize is coming from me. I clamp my mouth shut to silence my building distress and tighten my grasp on the chair. Wisps of darkness dance in front of my eyes, and as they fade, I’m both relieved and terrified to find myself back in the exam room.

My chest constricts as I glance around at the other Examinees, every last one wearing the same wide-eyed expression. Despite the silence, I know what they’re thinking. Those words from the news broadcast earlier vibrate through my head like the pitchy whine of a bad frequency.

Enemy of the State, their faces all say to me.


Author Bio:

M. A. PHIPPS is an American author who resides near the ocean in picturesque Cornwall with her husband, daughter, and their Jack Russell, Milo. A lover of the written word, it has always been her dream to become a published author, and it is her hope to expand into multiple genres of fiction.

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