Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Release Day Blitz!!

Tite: The Virgin Charmer (The Triple Goddess Trilogy: Book One)
Author: Rachel A Olson
Genre: Paranormal Romance


Hope Richards has only ever known the life of a big city girl. When her boss gives her an ultimatum, she decided to try out the country life during her forced vacation. After falling in love with a mysterious old mansion on the edge of a town that time forgot, Hope finds herself caught up in a whirlwind of someone else's crazy love obsession, and realizes in the middle of it all how lacking her own life is in that department. Hope is faced with a decision: return to the mundane life she thought was her passion, or find a way to experience something far stronger that she secretly yearns for.


Somewhere amidst her forty-hour job and playtime with her three-year-old, Rachel finds time to walk the streets of worlds only existing on manmade paper. She resides in small college town Northwestern Nebraska with her young son, just a few blocks from a city park, the public schools, and her parents. She enjoys socializing with adults, sipping strawberry wine, and head banging to music that doesn't carry a beat worth the effort of rock star hair slinging.

"The paranormal world is a much more desired realm. There's no limit to possibilities, no comparison to probabilities, no concept of actualities. There's no solid platform for racism, judgment, or hierarchy. It is exactly the manifestation you choose it to be, darkness and death included."



“I think we should get a drink before we start Q and A.” The sound of Abigail’s voice made Hope jump enough to bump her knees on the table. Her tone was ice cold, sending prickly chills down Hope’s spine. She only nodded, certain that questioning how Abigail could be so dead about something involving her own brother would be a bad idea.

Abigail snapped her fingers in the air two times, and the man behind the bar immediately jumped on command. The closer he got, the stronger the pull became that Hope had felt previously. He walked with his face downcast, most likely watching where he stepped in an attempt to avoid tripping on anything or anyone. When he finally reached their table, Hope was in the middle of scrambling away, utterly terrified by what she was feeling. As soon as she caught sight of his face, her chair tipped back with her still in it.

Hope found herself sprawled out on a grubby wooden floor that didn’t look like it’d been swept in several days. Her sweater had somehow tangled itself around and between her knees, making any attempt she made to stand look very similar to a fish out of water.

Hope stopped all futile attempts to stand independently when a very masculine hand jabbed itself in front of her nose. With large, crossed eyes, she gasped and managed to scoot away from the floating hand by a few measly inches. A deep, silky chuckle rolled across languid airwaves and nearly choked Hope with its thick perfume. Hope glanced up through half mast eyes at the blurred face hovering just beyond the floating hand, and smiled crookedly, one eyebrow popping up a hair higher than the other. Another bout of chuckling ensued just as something lifted Hope to her seat.

“...Bump her head?”


Hope was only grasping portions of surrounding conversation. Her head swam through an enervated, unknown substance, causing a reaction similar to that of narcotics. She tried to shake herself and clear her mind, but whatever it was, it insisted on clinging tightly to every inch of her, inside and out.

“Do you mind telling me what your nose is doing on my boyfriend?” Hope was ripped from her strange trance when a cold, bony little hand landed abruptly on her shoulder. Her eyes flew open, finding that her nose was indeed buried into the chest of a man.

No, not just any man. The man. The one that was causing the pull.

“Holy shit,” she muttered to herself, stuck in the glistening eyes of a man several years younger than herself. She was fully aware of the stares she was earning, as well as a perfectly annoyed Abigail behind her. She was also aware that, at that particular moment, she didn’t have the willpower to pull away from the younger man directly in front of her, or whatever it was that possessed her.

Slowly, Mr. Gloriously Addictive stepped away from her snout, swallowing loudly as he did. Hope could hear Abigail impatiently tapping her foot on the floor. The further he got from her, the stronger she felt. Finally, Hope managed to turn a bit to look at Abigail over her shoulder, knowing her cheeks would match the color of unfriendly fire. She opened her mouth to apologize, and the next thing she knew, she was falling face first toward the table. Abigail clumsily caught her full weight, gently lowering her into the nearest chair. Hope opened a single eye, finding the bartender entirely too close for comfort, and no doubt the cause of her sudden lack of leg control and balance.

He was frowning at her, probably just like Hope frowned at him. Abigail popped up out of nowhere next to him, the man that was yet to own a name, offering Hope a crystal clear glass of liquid heaven. She swallowed a mouthful, expecting it to slide down like the cool, refreshing water it should’ve been. Except it wasn’t water, and it ignited the very fires of hell in her throat and belly.

“Sorry,” Abigail winced as Hope coughed and sputtered. “I should’ve told you it was Vodka. Your weird dizzy spells and swooning had me convinced you were in desperate need of a hard drink.” Hope only offered a half smile, practically glaring up at the man still standing entirely too close to her. “Oh jeez, my manners ran away with my good mood. This is Garrett, my boyfriend.” Garrett offered a friendly hand to shake, but Hope just stared at it. She was more concerned about the close proximity of that hand, and why his very presence made her feel like her skeleton had decided to take a vacation without the rest of her.

“I think I need some fresh air,” Hope finally managed to announce.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Spooktacular Halloween Blog Hop

What's a Halloween without a haunted house? 

(Don't forget to enter the rafflecopter contest at the end of the post!)

We all can relate to the idea because many of us have grown up with stories of haunted houses, college dormitories and other areas. The city I grew up in had a local legend about a bridge. If one went to it at night, the ghosts of those that had driven off the bridge would haunt the place. Personally, I went necking down there with my boyfriend and I didn’t see anything. Nope, nothing! So much for a legend, huh? Or maybe I was too consumed with kissing the boyfriend to notice any ghosts had they been haunting the place. =)

The term “haunted houses” does bring to mind my other personal experiences, though. I grew up in a house that, while not necessarily haunted, it had a spirit of some sort living with us in perfect harmony. A lot of times I often felt protected and loved by that spirit.

My father’s house contains the spirit of what I believe to be my great-grandfather—he died in the home when I was five from a heart attack. This particular spirit showed itself to me on more than one occasion. Each time it was the outline of a person wearing a white T-shirt and nothing else. The first time I saw this, it was crouched down near the back corner of my father’s house at dusk. It stood and walked toward me as I went for the front door because I thought it was a stranger. When I got to the front door and looked back, the apparition stood at the bottom of the stairs—only the T-shirt could be seen, nothing else. That close up, it was still daylight enough that I would’ve been able to see the body and not just the T-shirt. This same similar incident happened more than once. I even pointed it out to my step-mother once when she was outside with me and she saw nothing, even though I could clearly see the apparition. This same spirit would make noises to keep me awake at night—like someone was raking leaves in the backyard or rocking in a rocking chair. I always hated staying with my father because the entity gave off intense, vile and aggressive emotions. Whatever is there never liked me and wanted me gone. Since my father never saw or felt anything, he chalked my experiences up to my imagination. But I have two great-aunts that were the daughters of my great-grandfather who both had similar experiences as I did. I know what I saw on all those occasions was not my imagination.

Another “haunted” experience was with a girlfriend of mine. I’ll call her Nicole. She bought a home with her husband and it is a beautiful piece of property, twenty-five acres, with an older fixer-up home. The home was so old it had a well built on the corner of the front porch. It was cool, a neat little piece of history with the way things once were done. I can’t even imagine having to draw my water out of it just to meet the basic necessary needs. But after having kids I see the danger in it, too. The place had oodles of potential and best of all it was away from the big city. It was so quiet and peaceful. God’s country as us Southerners would call it.

My first visit there, I came home telling my husband the place had a ghost. Everywhere I went, I felt like someone watched me. There was no hostility, but more like a sense of curiosity. The only time I could truly get away from feeling like someone watched us when we would ride the four-wheelers across the back part of the property and woods.

When I attended a Halloween party a couple of months later, Nicole told me then that she’d purchased the home from an Estate after the previous owner, an elderly woman, had passed away in it. It was my light-bulb-V8-moment when I knew the identity of those hidden eyes. Another weekend I was there goofing off with Nicole and her mother, Jill, when Jill started talking about her conversations with the spirit of the woman who once owned the house! I got chills!! To have my feelings and thoughts confirmed was exciting because until then, I’d never met anyone who openly talked about the ability to see spirits. I went home that night and told my husband, “I told you so!” His reply was that I wasn’t the only crazy person in the world. ;-)

This isn’t my only experience with spirits. I’ve interacted with them a lot over my life. Sometimes I feel like I have a revolving door to me, and not my house. This past November, a friend’s mother wouldn’t leave me alone. I finally had a moment where I said “fine”, picked up the phone to relay to my friend, Melissa, the message her mother wanted her to have. That was all it took for her mother to pull away and leave me alone. Peace at last! 

Spirits do exist. At least in my world they do. I’ve had one too many experiences to not believe in them. 

Have you experienced a haunting of some sort? Do you see or talk to spirits? Ever been to a "real" haunted house? If so, I'd love to hear your experiences. If not and you think I'm crazy, well you won't be the first to believe that either.

Make sure you check out these blogs for the other secret words for the Hop...

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Finding Faith by Tabatha Vargo!

A little FAITH can get you through…

One night. That’s all Finn had with the only girl he ever loved. Years
later, all he has left of that night is a silver cross, a broken give a
damn, and the unrelenting desire to drink her memory away. As the lead
singer of Blow Hole, Finn has his pick of women, but none are able to squash
the need he still carries around for Faith. To hate her offers some relief,
but when Finn sees her again after so many years, it’s hard to despise her.
Especially when every reason he had to hate her, turn out to be lies.

As the daughter of a strict Baptist preacher, Faith Warren lived sheltered
from all things sinful. When she met Jimmy Finn, the epitome of all seven
deadly sins, she found out exactly what she was missing. After being forced
to choose between her soul and the only person in the world who made her
feel alive, Faith walked away from Finn and dove head first into her
father’s preferred life. But now Finn’s back and he’s getting payback by
wreaking havoc on her emotions. Except sometimes bad things feel good, and
Faith has to decide once again if she wants to stay in her gilded cage or
fly free with the dark angel of lust himself.

***18+ Warning: this book contains some graphic language, sex, and violence. Mature readers only. Not intended for young adult readers.***

“Tabatha Vargo is a USA Today bestselling author from a small town just outside of Charleston, SC. Tabatha is a sweet tea sippin', front porch sittin' kind of girl from the south. She loves old, historical anything, windchimes, and all things romantic. She is the mother of a seven-year-old rockstar/princess and the wife of her very own Prince Charming. When she isn't writing or reading, she's texting book ideas to herself and spending time with her friends and family. Her first publication was a little poem in her elementary school paper and from that point on she was hooked. She finished her first novel, ‘Wicked Fate’, in 2009 and released it in November 2012. She has since released ‘On the Plus Side’, USA Today bestselling ‘Playing Patience’, and ‘Perfecting Patience’.”


(Soon to be available on Kobo, iTunes, and Sony)


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Monday, October 21, 2013

The Breach Between by Duncan McGonall

Title: The Breach Between
Series: The Spiral Dance, #2
Author: Duncan McGonall
Publisher: Mages Gate
Publication Date: October 18, 2013
Genre: Epic Fantasy


They use blood to walk through time and sigils to port worlds; they are Magi. They are the Legacy. They are three. One ancient book, the Book of Woes, can either restore or condemn the human race—depending upon who uses it. The Legacy seeks the mastery of this Book. At the moment, dragons have it and one of them is a lover scorned.The first of three is new to the game. Bruce Caieden is still playing catch-up as Egyptian gods Set and Horus teach him the Magi way.  Will his role in the Legacy cost him his soul mate, his life? The second, Maramore, immortal and cousin to the brothers Caieden holds the secret, the big picture; an immortal must die, the Ankh Principle must be isolated, the Ennead sated and Order must prevail to restore the ancient machine known as the Atum Origin aka the Rea Novum. The third, Tolen Caieden, is a soldier of secrets and keeper of true lies. Since his grandfather’s untimely death, he is also the custodian of the Legacy. Maramore, Bruce and Tolen must find a way to satisfy the contradicting terms of the Legacy—and stop a defunct, ancient order’s plan to Shift the Circle of Life. They need blood to walk through time.  They need blood to master the Book, and they need blood to stop the Shift. But there are more than two sides; there are four. 



"Very well written, intriguing story line and curiously developed characters. I enjoyed the complexities as much as the intellectuality. Refreshing take on the genre."
Jenn S. GoodReads, NetGalley

"...we enter an intricate web of political intrigue, mixed with time travel, Nazi treasures, and even magic.
The author sets the stage of the Nethertwain with some skill, crafts his long list of characters to battle and keeps the action moving from page to page." 
Vicki McKeehan, Author of The Bones of Others, GoodReads

"McGonall has created a world with complex politics and imaginative magick that even includes time travel, the Pope and Nazi treasures...a very powerful and stimulating read and rewarding with its intellectual depth and well-constructed foundations. McGonall’s command of language is superb..."
Christoph Fischer, Amazon top 1000 Reviewer

"... woven with such intricate detail...McGonnall's diction is fantastic... his use of language will feel oddly refreshing and stimulating... a thrilling tale, The Breach Between is a special book because it isn't bound to just one mythological idea."
This review can also be found at:
Steph and Dani, A Walk on Words 

"McGonall wove a tale with words in the same way a master swordsman wields his weapon...this book reads like a testimony to a love of words and double entendres. Love, ambition and familial ties wrapped up with a spell or two ... is what the reader can look forward to."
Wanda Hartzenberg, Amazon Reviewer, GoodReads


Amazon – (not yet available, will send it to you on the 18th.)


Duncan McGonall is a family man, first and everything else follows. Born of parents one generation from immigration to the U.S., his heritage is Scot’s Highlander.  He lives in small-town Tennessee with his wife, five children and four dogs. McGonall’s first writing sold was a role-playing game in the mid-1980s. Now a retired Navy man, he writes full time and is a General Editing Partner of the Orion’s Exploit imprint under Authors Allies.



The author is giving away one $15 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner. Open to international entries.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Road to Hell series welcomes author Mireille Chester

Please welcome Author Mireille Chester  onto the Road to Hell. Mireille is the author of A Witteck’s Dream. Other books written by Mireille are The Chosen One Trilogy, Chael’s Luck, Tyler’s Story, and Angered Seasons.
Now, it’s time to create a little hell and get to the good stuff by revealing all of Mireille’s wicked secrets while on the Road to Hell. LOL  Yeah, you wish! ;-D 

Grab your favorite drink, sink your teeth into something decadent, sit back, relax and enjoy getting to know Mireille Chester…


GRACEN:  Tell me three things about yourself that we cannot find on the internet or in your bio?

Mi:   Ummmm, I’ve owned a pot-bellied pig named Pumba, one of my favorite books is still The Hungry Caterpillar, and well, when I was younger, I wanted to be a boy. lol
GRACEN: What hobbies and interests do you participate in when you’re not writing?

Mi: For the most part I spend time with my kids.  We go hiking and things like that.  I love to have a few glaces of wine with my sisters.  I also have a part time job as an office admin at our local crossfit gym.  I love it. 

GRACEN: Do you have any writing quirks or certain things you MUST have or do before beginning the writing process?

MI:  I have to have a beer.  Lol 

GRACEN: If you were plotting to take over the world, how would you do it?

MI:  Dragons.  You can achieve anything if you have a dragon.  I’d most likely use ice dragons.  You wouldn’t want to use the fire ones for the simple fact that I wouldn’t want to rule over a scorched planet. 

GRACEN: If you could make one statement that the entire planet would hear and remember, what would it be?

MI:  There is more than enough food out there, people.  There’s no reason why starvation is even a word.

GRACENWhat genre do you write and why that genre?

MI:  I write fantasy.  It doesn’t fit into any one category, really.  My words have a mix of paranormal and epic fantasy.  Shapeshifters and dragons DO belong together. :D  I’ve always loved getting lost in strange worlds and meeting different beings, so I guess I write what I love. 

GRACEN: For those who are not yet familiar with MI, can you please give us some details about the book and/or series?

MI:  A Witteck’s Dream is the first book in The Witteck Chronicle series.  This series is the sequel series to The Chosen One Trilogy.  We get to go back to Quelondain and meet up with Hayden and Jasper’s pack as they find themselves in a whole new end of the world crisis.  This time, the threat isn’t just to Quelondain, but to all of the continents, so readers will get to see more of this world.  In A Witteck’s Dream, we learn about the Wittecks and how they were created to guard magical orbs.  Since an age old evil is rising, the orbs must once again be protected and Hayden’s crew steps up to the challenge.

GRACEN:  Do you have any new stories in the works and can you tell us a bit about it/them?

MI:  I’m working on the second book in this series.  So far, the title is The Witteck’s Call.  I’m about a third of the way done right now.  I’m also almost done the second book in my middlegrade series called Faerie Dreams.  This one follows a thirteen year old girl that wakes up in a book she’s reading. 

GRACEN: If you could describe your writing with one word or brief phrase, what would it be? Please delve into the core of your writing to tell us what word or phrase you want readers to take with them when they’ve finished reading your story.

MI: I’ve been told that I write so that it’s easy for the reader to understand what the character is going through, so, easy read? Lol!  I have no idea.  I do know that when a reader finishes one of my stories I want the word that sticks in their mind to be ‘magical’.
GRACEN: What, in your opinion, makes your story unique and what makes it stand out from other stories in your genre? Think of this as a pitch to convince readers to pick up your books.
MI:  I guess it would be my crossover between paranormal and epic fantasy.  Readers who love two different kinds of fantasy can both find a home in Quelondain.  Whether you like shapeshifters or Wedelves (Quelondain’s version of elves), you’ll get caught up in the adventures and romances that happen there.  I’d say that these stories are a mix Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Animorphs… but for adults. lol

GRACEN: What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done in the name of research?

MI: Ummmm, nothing. Lol I don’t research.  It’s one of the perks of writing in a totally made up world. I have absolutely no rules to follow.

GRACEN: Of all your books, which character did you have the most fun creating and why?

MI:  For the most fun, I’d have to say Chael from Chael’s Luck.  He has this secret that I wanted to keep secret for as long as possible.  Plus, he’s the little guy trying to prove that he’s just as good as the big guys; it made for some great situations.

GRACEN: If you had the opportunity to meet just one of your characters in real life, who would it be and why?

MI:  I think I’d have to go with Ternach.  He’s the immortal you meet in The Chosen One Trilogy and then again in The Witteck Chronicles.  He’s been alive forever and the stories he can share must be amazing.  I’d love to sit down and have a couple of mugs of sloan with him just to be able to hear them. 

GRACEN: Which of your characters would you never want to meet under any circumstance and why?

MI:  I think Lord Vallorg takes the cake on this one.  He’s the reason the Witteck Chronicles had to get written.  When a dark lord is about to destroy the world you created and loved, you have to pull your packs back together and try to kill the son of a bitch.  Of course, I get to stay safe behind my computer screen while they face death head on… and death, well, that’s exactly what Vallorg is to those who get in his way.

GRACEN:  If you were interviewing yourself, what is the one question you would ask yourself and please give us the answer to that question?

MI: Wow.  Good question.  I guess I’d ask myself, “If you could go back and end the trilogy differently, would you?”.  :D  And then I’d answer, “Yes.  I’d end it the way I always wanted too, but was too scared to because I wasn’t sure how my readers would react.”  And that’s all I’m saying in case someone who reads this interview hasn’t read those books yet. lol

GRACEN:  Thanks so much for joining us, MI!  It’s been a treat getting to know you better! 

Mi:  Thank you so much for having me, Gracen! I’m totally having a fangirl moment answering these questions! *elbows person beside her*  Dude! Gracen Miller just interviewed me!


It's been five years since the Chosen One's war and Hayden's pack has been able to enjoy life once again. Of course, things can never stay calm and they soon find themselves caught up in another epic fight and this time it looks like Ternach might hold the key to winning.

Mortal since losing his powers in the battle of Paradin, Ternach decides to take a trip to Sageden in hopes that Hayden can help him get his magic back. Along the way, he meets Sarah; a woman with a secret and an agenda.

It doesn't take long before sparks are flying and Ternach starts to think that maybe being human has it's perks after all.

When he discovers Sarah's secret he needs to make a decision: Does he stay human so he can stay with Sarah, or does he attempt to become immortal again knowing he has what is needed to win...

EXCERPT: (any heat level as this is an 18+ site)
“So we’ll leave first thing in the morning then.  I wish I’d known sooner what had happened.  We could have been gone already.”  Cassandra frowned and looked to the door of Ternach’s room.
“Can I have a look at the orb again?  It really is irking me that I can’t remember when I saw the other one.”  Ternach put another piece of wood on the fire he had going.  Cassandra reached into Peter’s pack and pulled out the yellow orb then handed it to him.
Ternach frowned.
“Have you left Quelondain?”  Peter sat behind Cassandra.
“Hmmm?  Oh, yes, I have.”  He looked up from the orb and its moving veining and smiled.  “If you name it I’ve probably been there.  It’s amazing how bored a being can get over time.”
Cassandra laughed and leaned back against Peter who kissed her shoulder.  Ternach smiled at the gesture then frowned as he looked at his door.
“Is she alright?”  Peter was looking in the same direction.
Ternach shrugged.  “I’m not sure.  I can’t tell you if this happens every time she comes home, or if it’s a new occurrence.  It could have been the fight with that Brent character or the fact that someone left a dead animal in her bed.”  He remembered how she’d shivered against him through the night.  He took a deep breath.  “Bastard,” he muttered under his breath.  He wasn’t entirely sure what the idiot had said to her, but she’d seemed distant for the past day.  Other than the odd glance in his direction she’d barely acknowledged he was there though she hadn’t left his side since they’d found her room covered in blood.  He handed the orb back to Cassandra and stood.
“I have some herbs that might help calm her down if she wants.  If she needs me, we’ll be in our room.”
Ternach nodded and walked off to find Sarah.  “She told you she needed a minute to herself,” he mumbled to himself.  He stopped walking then started again.  He had a bad feeling.
“No!”  Sarah’s voice was filled with fear.  Ternach ran as quietly as he could and hid behind a bush.
Sarah looked in his direction, like she’d felt him grow near.
“Ow, Brent, you’re hurting me.”  Sarah winced as his fingers dug into her arm.  Her heart was pounding.  Brent had always been quiet and gentle.
He jerked then looked at her with the strangest look on his face.  “I’m hurting you, am I?  What are you going to do about it?”
He grunted.  “Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about!  Tanner did the same thing!”  He shook his head.  “What?  You’re drunk, Brent.  Go sleep it off.”  He brought his hand up and slapped her in the face.  Sarah’s face exploded with pain as her head snapped back.  “Well, I’m not drunk now, Sarah, so how are you going to explain it to me?”
“Explain what, Brent?”
“Come on, now.  Stop me.”  He spun her around and pressed his dagger to her throat.  “Stop me, Sarah.  I know you have more sense than Tanner.  He thought I’d stop if he didn’t do anything.  You won’t make the same mistake, now, will you?”
“What are you saying?  You’re the one who killed Tanner?”  Tears spilled from her eyes.  “Why?”
“I know what you are, Sarah!  I know what you both were!  But your mate was stupid, wasn’t he.  Even when he was dying he refused to help himself!”  He pulled her head back even farther and Sarah felt the blade bite into her throat.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about!  Brent, please!”
“Oh, that’s nice.  I like the sound of that.  Beg some more.  Actually, just agree to my proposal and I’ll let you live.  I don’t mind what you are, Sarah, but I refuse to let anyone else have you.”
“I’m a Namael!  A cheetah!  By the moons, Brent, I don’t understand!”
He pressed his dagger harder against her throat.  “Come on.  Save yourself.  You know you can.”
“Is there a problem here?”
Brent turned quickly and growled.  Sarah’s heart jumped into her throat.
“Move along, man.  This is none of your business.”
“Now that’s where you’re wrong.”  Ternach tried to look calmer than he felt.  All it would take was one quick swipe of the dagger and Sarah would be dead.  He couldn’t help but think about the fact that his magic would be handy right about now.  “Sarah is my business.”  His jaw clenched as he saw her eyes widen, her tears running down her bruised face.
Brent frowned.  “What’s wrong with your eyes?  Are you one of them?”
“One of who?  What’s he talking about, Sarah?”
“I don’t know!”
Truth be told, Ternach didn’t really care what the man was talking about.  Just keep him distracted, he thought to himself.  To Brent he said, “I’m definitely not one of those, but I’ll agree with you, she’s something else isn’t she?”
Sarah’s eyes widened.
“There!  I knew it!”  Brent pushed her away, spinning her around so that she was looking at him.  Ternach was sprinting toward them.  “Now, save yourself, witch.”  Brent wound up and threw his dagger at her then grunted with the impact of Ternach’s body colliding with his.
Ternach straddled the smaller man and punched him until there was no more struggling under him.  “Sarah!”  He turned and scrambled to his feet.  Sarah stared at him with wide eyes, unmoving.  “Are you alright?”  He looked her over, trying to see if the dagger had hit its mark.
“I’m… I’m fine.”
“Where’s his dagger?”
“It… he threw wide.”  She couldn’t stop staring at Brent’s listless form on the ground.  “Did you kill him?”
Ternach frowned and glanced back.  Brent’s chest was still moving as he breathed.  “No.  He’s alive.  By the moons, Sarah, look at me!”  He reached out and took her by the arms.  Her eyes finally met his.  “Are you alright?”
She nodded slowly and suddenly, all of the strength she had left evaporated.  Ternach caught her as her legs gave way.
“Let’s get you to the inn and we’ll figure out what’s wrong,” he said as he cradled her in his arms.  Brent moaned and reached up to touch his swollen face.  His eyes met Ternach’s.
“If you ever come near her again you’ll die.”
Brent’s eyes widened.  “You can’t possibly believe her!  She’s a witch!”
Ternach shook his head.  “I know from personal experience that she’s not a witch and I meant what I said.  Killing you won’t bother me in the least.”  He strode away and hugged Sarah to his chest.  He looked down at her, frowning.
“Let’s get you back to my room.  I’ll go get Cassandra for you.”
“But Cassandra could help…”  He touched her face lightly where it was bruised.
She shook her head.
“What do you need me to do?”
“I…”  Sarah felt as though she was being carried through a haze.  “He did it.”  Tears slid down her face and Ternach pulled her close.  “He killed Tanner.”
“Did he say why?”
She shook her head.  “He kept saying he knew what we were.  He called me a witch.”
“Well, then, the man is obviously losing his mind, no?”  He kissed her forehead.  “I know witches, and you, my girl, are definitely not one.”  He rubbed her back until she started to relax against him.  He managed to open his door and lay her on the bed.
“But you agreed with him.  You said I was something else.”
He chuckled and lay beside her.  “I didn’t agree that you were a witch.”  His gaze softened and he tucked her hair behind her ears.  “I said you were something else and that you are.”
Her heart fluttered in her chest.  “Ternach?”
“Why did you go come find me?”
“I…”  He frowned.  “I’m not sure.  I had a strange feeling.”
“Thank you.”
He chuckled.  “Anytime.”  He lifted her chin and looked at her throat.  “Are you sure you don’t want Cass?”
Her eyes widened.  “No!  I’m fine.  Really.”
“Sarah, are you sure you’re alright?”  Ternach couldn’t get over the scared look in her eyes.  “Are you scared he’ll be back?  He won’t touch you again, I promise.”
She only moved closer to him and buried her face in his chest.  There had only been one man that had been able to make her feel safe until now.  She took a deep breath and felt him tighten his hold on her.  Maybe everything would be alright.  Would Brent try anything else?  Maybe.  Ternach was right, he’d obviously lost his mind.  Who in their right mind would make accusations like that?  Stop thinking about it.
“Do you want me to add some wood to the fire?”  Ternach was starting worry about how hard she was shaking against him.
She shook her head.  “Just hold me.”  Truth be told, she wasn’t shivering because of the shock of her situation anymore.  She focused on the feel of his hand moving along her arm.
He pulled the blankets over the both of them and hugged her close, rubbing her back.  Sarah felt her tunic ride up in the back and his fingers brushed along her skin.  She jerked at the touch and her heart jumped.
“Sorry.”  He smoothed everything down again and continued trying to warm her.
“What have you been feeling?  I mean, when I walked into the restaurant last night and then after that?”  She remembered the frown that hadn’t left his face.
He thought about it for a minute.  “Worried, why?”
“Oh, well, I thought you might have been upset after finding out about Brent.”
“Is that why you’ve been acting standoffish?”
She nodded, still sure he wasn’t entirely happy with her.  “And what about now?”  She looked up into his white green eyes when he didn’t answer and caught her breath at the look in them.
“Still worried.”
Sarah smiled at his blush.  “And?”
The corners of his mouth twitched.  “By the moons, Sarah, you’re pressed right up against me.  If you can’t figure it out…”
She grinned and gasped as his fingers left hot trails down her arm.
“I don’t think you lost your magic at all.  I think it’s buried somewhere in there.”
He shook his head.  “Trust me, my girl, if I had any magic left, I’d know.”  But even as he said the words he couldn’t help but hope she was right.  “So why would you think I had magic left?  I thought you didn’t have a feel for magic.”
Sarah’s heart beat a bit faster.  “I… I don’t.  I’m not sure why.”
“Are you sure you’re alright?  I still think I should go get Cassandra.”
She shook her head.  “I don’t want you to worry or even think right now.”  She reached a hand up and ran her fingers along his jaw line.
His frown deepened.  “Sarah…”
She repositioned herself so she could kiss along his jaw.  “I’ll add no talking to the list of things not allowed at the moment.”
“You’ve been through a lot the last two days…”  He closed his eyes at the feel of her hands running through his hair and Sarah smiled at the shiver that ran through him as she flicked her tongue over his lips.
“Make me forget.”
He pulled her up so he could look at her.  “Are you sure?”
She answered by pushing him onto his back, straddling him, and pulling her tunic over her head.  He groaned and pulled her down so that his face was pressed between her breasts.  His tongue flicked over her nipple lightly and it was her turn to groan.  His hands ran up her back and tangled in her auburn hair.  His mouth left her breast, trailed along her collarbone, up her neck, and found her lips.  Her tongue found his and she melted over him, her hips moving against his.  He let out a strangled gasp and suddenly she was sure that if she couldn’t feel him naked under her hands she would die.
Sarah rolled to the side and pulled him into a sitting position so she could tug his shirt over his head.  Her heart was pounding and at the sight of his bare chest it started to race.
“Pants…” she managed to choke out the word.  He obliged her by standing and stepping out of them.  Seeing him standing before her, his eyes blazing with need, his body ready to take her, she shivered.
Ternach closed his eyes and took a deep breath.  Once he’d managed to calm down a bit he took a step closer to the bed and leaned down to kiss her.  His arms wrapped around her and he moaned at the feel of her breasts against his chest.  His head was reeling and he pulled back, stood her on the bed and helped her out of her pants.  His teeth brushed over her nipples and she arched against him, her gasp causing him to groan.
Sarah moaned as his fingers found their way between her legs.  They slipped inside of her and she had to fight to stay upright.  Ternach’s mouth moved from one breast to the other then moved back to her lips.  His fingers flicked inside of her.
“Wait… wait…”  Her head was spinning and the heat inside of her was building.  “I want you in me…”  She felt him smile where he’d been nibbling on her neck.
He felt her start to tighten around his fingers and he stopped his stroking.  He moved back to her breasts and she arched against him as he pulled most of one into his mouth.
“You know, I’ve never done this without magic…”  He let his tongue slip from one nipple to the other where he proceeded to pay attention in great detail.  Sarah’s breath caught in her throat as his fingers resumed their stroking.
“Ternach…”  Sarah moaned as his tongue found hers and she wrapped her arms around his neck.  Her whole body was on fire.  Every touch was sending heat waves scorching through her.  She sobbed in frustration as his fingers stopped once again.  “Please…”
Her eyes flew open as they left her body.  His one arm pulled her to his chest and she wrapped her legs around his waist as he crawled to the head of the bed.  He lowered her gently.
“This is feeling alright for you?”  He brushed the hair out of her eyes and waited for her answer.
Sarah stopped herself from laughing when it became obvious he was serious.  She let her fingers trail along his jaw.  “It is feeling so good that if you don’t stop talking and keep doing what you were doing I might decide to kill you.”
“Hmmm…. Well, we can’t have that now, can we?”  His words were whispers in her ear.  He spread her legs with his knees and groaned as he pushed himself into her.  Sarah caught her breath, her hips tilting upwards to meet his.  He seemed to fill her completely and as he started to pull back again she quivered under him.  He pushed in again, slowly.
“By the moons, Ternach, please…”  Every movement in and out was slowly bringing her to her release.  He felt her start to tighten around him and he stopped, buried as deeply as he could be.  He groaned and took a deep breath.
“Not yet, my girl, not yet.  The moons only know when we’ll have a chance to be alone again.”
Sarah squirmed under him, urging him to move, but the weight of his hips against hers kept her from achieving what she wanted.  He waited a moment then resumed, loving the small groans that escaped her every time he would push back in.
His strokes quickened and he looked into her dark hazel eyes.  Sarah wrapped her legs around his waist then bit into his shoulder to muffle the scream as she clenched around him and every nerve in her body exploded with feeling.  Ternach’s breath caught in his throat and he groaned as her release set his off.  His mouth found hers and he kissed her tenderly.  He jerked as he closed his eyes and a flash of light filled his head.
Sarah gave a surprised cry.
He opened his eyes and found himself in a time he’d forgotten about.  Hazel eyes a shade lighter than the ones he’d just been gazing into peered back at him.  Plumper lips smiled sexily.  He grinned and kissed them lightly.
“By the moons, Brailla, I’m going to miss you.”  He made to roll off of her.
She hooked her legs around his hips and held him in place.  “Don’t get up yet.  I want to remember this feeling.”
He relaxed over her and let himself settle deeper into her.  She sighed and ran her hands lightly over his back.
“You’ll be careful?”  He couldn’t help the worry he’d been fighting off from returning.
“I will be.”  She ran her fingers along his jaw line.  “I’ll be fine.”
He grunted.  “You’re not about to take a stroll through the dragon mother’s den… you’re going up against Vallorg.”
“I was born to this, Ternach.  I can’t simply say I won’t go.”
“I know.  Are you sure you don’t want me to come along?”
She smiled.  “Yes, I’m sure.  It doesn’t say anything in the Witteck’s Prophecy about some beautiful immortal swooping in to save the day.”
“And this Glear character…”
“Will treat me well.  If he doesn’t, I’ll be sure to break his nose for you.”
“Alright.”  He kissed her softly and moved so that he was sitting by her side.  Brailla stood and he watched as she made her way to her pack.
“What are you looking for?”
“You asked if there was anything you could do to help me and I think I just thought of what that might be.”  She stood, the firelight highlighting her bare skin and long auburn hair.  “I think you should keep this.”  She handed him the red globe she guarded with her life.
He took it from her and watched as the dark red veining moved lazily through the sphere.
“If for some reason Vallorg manages to capture all of us and take the keepers’ orbs, he’ll still be short this one.  He can’t do anything without all of the spheres.  He’ll never think of looking here for it.”
Ternach frowned.  “You’re talking as if you’re knowingly going to your death.”
She shrugged.  “I’m not saying it’s what I want to happen, but I won’t lie to myself.  The possibility is good.”  She pulled her clothes on before kissing him again.
“Let me get my clothes on and I’ll walk you to the edge of the woods.”
Once they’d made it to their usual parting area he paused.  “Good luck, Brailla.  For everyone’s sake, I hope you succeed.”  He cupped her face in his hands and kissed her softly.  “Stay safe.”
She took a deep breath and nodded.  “Goodbye.”  She stepped back, muttered under her breath, and vanished.
Ternach jerked back to the present and found himself still lying on top of Sarah.  Her dark hazel eyes were wide, her jaw slack with surprise.  He moved so he was on his back and covered his face with his arm.
“By the moons, did you see that?”  His voice came out strangled.
“I did.”  Hers was just a whisper.  Neither one of them said anything for a moment.
“You knew Brailla.”  Sarah didn’t make it a question.
“I did.”  He turned onto his side so he could look at her.  “You’re a Witteck.”  It wasn’t a question either.
She rolled and gazed up at him.  “I am.”
“Did you come looking for me thinking I might know where the red orb was?”
She shook her head.  “I had no idea.”  She smiled.  “But now that I know she gave it to you, where is it?”
He shrugged.  “I have no idea.”  He grinned at her raised eyebrow.  “Sarah, I buried it somewhere in the Northern Regions, that’s all I can tell you.  That was almost a hundred thousand years ago; a lot has happened since then.”  He tucked her hair behind her ears.  “It’s safe.”
She started to laugh.
“I just… I was just thinking that we are the only two beings alive today that could have experienced what we had and be having this conversation as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened.”
He chuckled and pulled her close.  “So Brent was right about you then.”
“He was, though he was wrong about the witch part.  Wittecks aren’t witches.  We’re the keepers of the orbs.”
“Was he right about Tanner?”
“He was.”  Her voice was just a whisper.  “Tanner was my other half.  He didn’t want to be a Witteck.  He insisted it was a mistake.  He refused to start looking for the orbs.  As far as I know, we were the only two to have been called.  The more danger of the orbs being united, the more Wittecks will appear.  We’re born regular beings, but a dream seems to unlock the ancient memories of the past.”
“Do you know where the rest of the orbs are?”
She shook her head.  “When Brailla and Glear displaced them, it was a random act caused by them alone.  There is no record of where the orbs went.”
“Well, we know where three of them are.  Peter and Cassandra have the yellow one, Marilynn has the green one, and somewhere in the Northern Regions, I have the red one.  Do you know why you’ve been called?”
“If we’ve been called, it means some evil has risen.”
Ternach grunted.  “Terrific.”
“Did you love her?”
Ternach frowned.  “What?”
“Brailla.  Did you love her?”
He raised an eyebrow at her.  “How do you switch over from what could be the end of the world to my love life?”
Sarah shrugged.
“I… I’m not sure how to explain it, Sarah.  I was immortal.  I loved her as much as I could knowing that she would get old and die and I wouldn’t.  There was also the fact that she was already a Witteck when we met and she was waiting to dream of her other half.  It was fun and we both cared for each other, but we knew it wouldn’t last.”
“Is that why she left that night?”
“It was.  Can we get back to the end of the world?”
She noticed a flicker of sadness in his eyes.  It was there and gone so quickly she wasn’t sure she’d seen it at all.
“I suppose we can, though there isn’t much I can tell you.  I fated to Tanner.  Six years ago we both had the dream that marked us as Wittecks.  I managed to find one of the keys needed to lock the orbs back into their nests but with everything that happened with Braw it was hard to explore without being questioned.  Both halves of a Witteck couple have to be together at all times.  We lose our magic otherwise.”
“That’s right, I remember that now.  But Brailla was a Namael sorceress.  I remember how her energy multiplied after she dreamed of Glear.”  He frowned.  “You’re not a sorceress.”
“No, I’m not.  Why?”
“When Brent threw his dagger, he didn’t throw wide.  I saw it on the ground not too far from where you were standing.  And in the bedroom our first night here, while you were in the tub, I didn’t think anything of it, but you were able to warm the water.  Am I wrong?”
“You’re not.  I managed to warm the water and I deflected the dagger, though if you hadn’t been there I would have been dead.  I’ve tried doing magic without you around.  It doesn’t work.  I’m not exactly sure why, but you’re my other half now.”
“Well, now, that doesn’t make sense.  I’m not a Witteck.”
She shrugged.  “Like I said, I’m not sure why.  My magic needs a second half to work.  I think it’s reacting to your magic.”
“I don’t have any magic left.”
“Well, then, you explain it to me.”
He opened his mouth then closed it.  “I can’t.”  He smirked.  “You know, if I do have any magic left somewhere in me, I don’t think it’s very fair that you get to use it and I don’t.  Why are you looking at me like that?”
“I was just thinking…”
He waited for her to go on.
“It’s just… this is almost too good to be true.”
“Well, for starters, there’s how I lose my other half then just happen to run into you who seems to be able to replace his magic.  Then there’s the fact that you were lovers with Brailla, the first of all Wittecks, so you actually have a clue what I’m talking about.  And then, to top it all off, you seem alright with all of this?”
He smiled.  “Are you waiting for me to run out of the room screaming?”
Sarah blushed.  “Maybe.”
His smile softened.  “I meant every word I said when I told you how I felt.  A lot of this comes as a surprise, I’m not going to lie, but I’ve told you before, Sarah, it takes a lot to shock me.”  He felt her relax against him and pulled the covers up.
“Can we keep this to ourselves for now?”
“What’s that?  The orbs, the fact that you’re a Witteck, or what we just did.”
She smiled up at him.  “The orbs and the Witteck part; I couldn’t care less about who knows what we just did and what they think about it.”  She snuggled against his chest and yawned.
Ternach closed his eyes.  It seemed that even as a human his life was bound to be anything but normal.  Now, if he could just get his magic back, he’d be set.