Friday, December 31, 2010

The Cornwall Coven Book Tour

Book Two, Carnal Magnetism

Released by Silver Publishing on: January 15th 2011

More Information:


Cover Art by: Reese Dante

Book Three, Demonic Pandemonium

Release by Silver Publishing on: January 29th 2011


Cover Art by: Reese Dante


February 2nd 2011

Seriously Intreviewed

Author Interview

http://www.seriouslyinterviewed.blogspot.com/




February 3rd 2011

Cindy Jacks' Bad Girl (And Bad Boy) Writer's Block

Contest and Blog Post: Take A Walk With The Cornwalls Around Vancouver

http://cindyjacks.blogspot.com/


February 8th 2011

Talking Two Lips Yahoo Chat Group

Contest and Author Chat

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TalkingTwoLips/?yguid=431075999


February 10th 2011

Fang-tastic Books

Contest and Character Interview with the characters from the Cornwall Trilogy

http://fang-tasticbooks.blogspot.com/


February 17th 2011

Love Romances and More Yahoo Chat Group

Contest and Author Chat

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LoveRomancesCafe/?yguid=431075999


March 22nd 2011

Long And Short Of It Whipped Cream Reviews

Author Interview

http://www.longandshortreviews.com/WC/interviews.htm


March 23nd 2011

Whipped Cream Erotic Romance Reviews Yahoo Chat Group

Contest and Author Chat

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/whippedcream2/


May 1st 2011

Talking Two Lips Yahoo Chat Group

Contest and Author Chat with myself, Denyse Bridger, Cindy Jacks and Brigit Aine

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TalkingTwoLips/?yguid=431075999


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

SneakPeekWednesday; Demonic Pandemonium, Excerpt Five

The Cornwall Coven, Book Three; Demonic Pandemonium

Kayden McLeod

http://www.kaydenmcleod.com/

Release Date:

January 29th 2010

Genre:

Erotic Paranormal Romance (Vampires)

Sub-Genre:

Horror

Publisher:

Silver Publishing

Website:

http://silverpublishing.info/

Heat-Rating:

Four Flames—Fiery

Tagline:

Sex, blood and rock and roll

Summary:

Pandora is a half-demon, alone in the world and good as abandoned, with a mother who barely tolerates her and a father who is unable to be with her nearly often enough for her tastes. She keeps to herself, and tries not to associate with others often, lest they discover her secret—until she meets Kevlar Cornwall. The two collide in ignorance of one another, but the sexual-attraction is indisputable and cannot be ignored, growing more profound with every passing moment. It blinds them to the lurking danger hiding just around the corner, out to end both their lives and everyone either of them have ever known or loved.

Excerpt Five (RATED: R):

“No, Pan.” Kev pressed his lips to mine again, only to pull back. “I don’t care about anything before right now. All I’m asking for is from now on. I know you’re scared, and no matter how it appeared, you were just protecting yourself. After all these years on this earth that is one thing I understand. Having said that, I’m too damned selfish and scared to die alone.”

“You’re not selfish—and I won’t let you be alone.” No matter how much it hurts me.

“Please, let me have you, the comfort of your body.”

“You’re Coven is right there.”

“To be honest, I don’t really care. But if we’re quiet, they’ll never know,” he whispered back. “Not even the demon blood enables them to read my mind now. Short of them coming to find us, I think we’re safe.”

I just smiled, trailing my hands down his sides to the rim of his jeans. His biceps bulged on either side of my face as he lifted his body so I could unzip him, and tug them down to his knees.

“Impatient?” He whispered.

“Very. I haven’t touched you all afternoon.”

He chuckled, and then my pants disappeared. I rolled my eyes and grabbed his cock. I ran my thumb over his head, until he trembled. He lowered his body between my legs as I led him, needing to feel him, one last time.

My body was so ready for him, primed and wet. When he slid inside of me, nerve-endings jolted awake, the sensation bringing immediate devastating. His lips closed over mine, and he surged forward.

For one blessed moment I could forget everything, even the people who stood feet from us. But as far as I could tell, they weren’t concerned about what we did.

“Even if this is my last night, there isn’t anyone else I would want more to spend my last sane moments with,” Kev murmured sincerely in my ear.

“I won’t let you die, Kev.” I wrapped my legs around. His pace slowed, savouring it. “I can’t.”

His lips stole my reason, his rhythm robbed my mind of thought. Kev swallowed the small moans that escaped my lips, to be heard by no one other than us.

We both came serenely. No one had noticed anything, other than perhaps our absence. I bit my lip now that our too short reprieve had come to a close.

Nothing else to delay us any further.

My arms curled around his neck, not wanting to let him go. Going after Coren didn’t sound as good to me anymore. Not at the expense of the first person who had a shot at understanding who I really am.

Call me egocentric for this, with all that could be at stake, but it was how just how I felt.

“I will probably do something stupid to save you, you know that don’t you?” I felt him smile against my cheek.

“That’s nice of you.” He kissed my forehead, the earlier anger completely vanished.

He shoved his face into my neck and hair as if to hide from the world. His arms closed around me, and I felt the fine tremor in his shoulders.

“Every time I go on a mission, intellectually I know I could die,” Kev said in a peculiarly shaky voice. “To know that I’m predestined to die. I don’t think I am meant to come back from the dead this time around, am I?”

I avoided answering that, since I didn’t know myself. If my dad had known that, he wouldn’t have been so worried. “Ivor didn’t say if it was predestined.”

“But just like you said, you don’t know. I never thought it would undermine me this way, but I can’t stop thinking about it,” he admitted. “It makes a big difference now.”

My hands ran over his back to try and console him in a way I had never comforted another living being before.

“You’re not a vampire anymore Kevlar, that has to mean something.”

“I hope so.” Kev moved to get up, but my arms had other ideas.

I’d still attached myself to him when he stood on his feet. He chuckled, but sadness reigned.

“We have to go,” he whispered brokenly.

“No.” Tears burned in my eyes, for I didn’t know what to say to this man who had come to mean so much to me.

“Baby, please,” he begged. “It’s hard enough as it is.”

The tears spilled over my lashes when I unwrapped myself from him. I turned away, clothing my body in all black; jeans, t-shirt and even socks. It seemed appropriate.

His hand closed around my arm and turned me around. His soulful eyes took in my tear stained face with malice. His thick fingers tentatively touched my face, wiping them away.

“I’m sorry.”

“For what?” I asked.

“If I can’t be there for you.” He shut his eyes. “Promise me you will stay with Max and Corrine if—I’m not here.”

“I can take care of myself.”

“We both know that isn’t really true, baby. You pretend, but you’re not happy. I need you to be happy—and I need you not to be alone anymore. They would be your friends—your family, the people you run to. Max and Corrine will be able to help you, and Marcus, Kelly, Sara, Holly, Ryder—all of them will be there for you. I need to know that you will be alright. Please, promise me.”

“Fine, I promise.” I blinked and a next flood of tears released.

“Don’t cry for me, Pan. If it is my destiny to die, so be it. Life does not end with death, for we only move on to the next.”

Then why do you say that like it is the end? But, I wasn’t quite self-absorbed enough to give voice to those words.

His face changed back to the cold and unfeeling, but I knew it wasn’t for my benefit, but for the rest of them.

“Ivor gave us the general area,” Milindya said to Holly when we walked back around the alcove of bush. “I think we should check it out.”

“It’s a place to start. I’m sure he has a better range than we do,” Holly replied.

I smiled as they underestimated my dad. Ivor would know exactly where Coren occupied, and what he was doing. It was only a matter of being permitted to convey it to us. I knew he had stretched even that whisper-thin.

I wondered if my dad had changed their memories or not, because it didn’t seem like it. He had stayed all day long—escaping only a few short hours passed. I hadn’t thought to ask, and to me, it didn’t really matter anyway.

Not one of them looked scared or even timid about what would come, even though we knew this wasn’t just a normal, everyday hunt. It wasn’t just one or two irate vampires who needed to put down.

And one fact wouldn’t leave me alone;

Tonight, Vancouver could get its first real taste of hell.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Coming Soon...Martyr of the Flaminian Gate


Martyr of the Flaminian Gate

Valentine's Day Story, released within the Heart And Soul Anthology (M/F)

Kayden McLeod

http://www.kaydenmcleod.com/

Publication Date:

February 12th 2011

Genre:

Erotic Romance

Sub-Genre:

Time-Travel/Historical

Publisher:

Silver Publishing

http://silverpublishing.info/

Heat-Rating:

Three—Boiling

Tagline:

A love that spans through the ages


Summary:

In the times of the Roman Empire, it is declared that no solider would marry to distract them from battle, and their duties to their Emperor, Claudius Gothicus. Jacobus de Voragine hears these orders, but does not heed them. He seeks out a priest who would wed him and his love, Petronia. And that one decision of devotion causes them both unimaginable adversities. But there are some forces in this world not even the Emperor can circumvent. The priest, Valentio sees the good in the hearts of men, especially Jacobus. And gives him a chance of a lifetime: to love purely and freely, no matter who tells him he can’t.

Excerpt One (RATED PG)


Prologue

269 AD, the Roman Empire

Valentio stared up at Claudius Gothicus from under the brush of his eyelashes with an unpleasant glint inspired from these indecencies.

The guard had forced the martyred priest to his knees, chained in shackles and presented to their ruler—though he wasn’t Valentio’s. The priest followed his faith in honour, love and God. But the Roman Emperor had deemed it necessary to eradicate what Valentio held sacred, and impose his own to replace it.

“Do you still persist in these foolish notions, Saint Valentine?” Claudius’s index finger danced along the rim of his wine-filled goblet. “Has your incarceration not been enough? You have had ample time to reconsider.”

The priest bit his tongue in an effort not to laugh at the label some called him, in all ignorance. A saint he may be considered—but none here had any idea what responsibility this imposed on him. Miraculous occurrences would always happen and missionaries like Valentio and those akin to him distributed some, but not all.

“I persist in nothing that is foolish—nor have I ever. I will not convert to your ways. If you so choose to follow in your own beliefs, fine. But extend me the same courtesy. I do nothing wrong.”

The guard around the Emperor laughed—with a clear fake ring to it. They did not wish to anger the very man who held their fate in his hands, the power to do unto them, as what was done in the priest’s position.

At least, some of them. A few among these strong and intimidating men had come to change their faith—no longer seeing Christianity as offensive: not like Claudius had deemed it. But they would not allow the Emperor to have this knowledge, for it would only get them prosecuted. Valentio did not hold them accountable for this.

No one but Valentio would be to blame for his predicament, whether that was true or not. He had given himself up in many ways, all to save another who proved himself worthy of his specific attentions.

“Valentio, I am fond of you—your fortitude and rigid loyalty. It is why breath still fills your lungs and your heart continues to beat beneath your breast. However, is it possible you like living your waning life in chains, in a blackened cell? Because until your dying breath and the last beat of your heart that is how you will stay, if you do not come to see my way of things. Do not mistake my charity in your recently continued life to be my foolishness. I will kill you without a second thought.”

Valentio felt the cold weight of the metal binding his hands and feet. No, he did not care for the atrocities and the belittling of being bound in such a way. There’d be little doubt it would be his impending death, if his soul-deep convictions remained unchanged.

Yet, none of it mattered. To alter such a thing would be to lie to one’s self about fundamental needs. And that was something he would never do.

It took everything within Valentio not to snarl and rail against the injustice of this. Why could Claudius not see there should be freedom in religion? That people should have a choice?

“Then so shall it be. I will not have another way of life, thinking and being forced upon me. I will not go against who I am to please anyone—nor will I find variance in who I am, just to survive a pitiful existence of dishonesty. I hold true to fidelity in my faith.” Valentio calculated his words, though near reaching the end of his rope. “Perhaps it is not me that needs to look inward and see who or what is wrong.”
Claudius’s eyes filled with anger. “You dare question my beliefs?”

“You question mine. One does not judge another, until one judges himself first.”

“I do not have to judge myself. I am ruler here—what I say is to be heeded as the utmost authority. You are trying my patience, and I will not have that. Do you wish to spend another fortnight in the cells below, perhaps to gain some common-sense before I decide what your end will be?”

“I will spend the time there—but I will acquire nothing but hunger and friendship with rats. There will come a time, Claudius Gothicus, that you will see my ways are not as depraved as you have come to believe. You will see damnation for what you have wrought—and it will not be me who kneels before you, manacled to what he values. We all have a higher power to answer. You are not and never been mine. I sincerely hope yours has more clemency than you do.”

Claudius laughed at Valentio’s words. “You imagine that the Emperor of the Roman Empire will genuflect before a mere priest of a Christian Church? Who has knowingly gone against my dictates and wed my soldiers? It is you, and only you who will be arbitrated for these heinous crimes against me.”

“Those soldiers have want of families—children. Do you not desire for them to broaden your domain, and strengthen your rule? It is not fair to deny them a most basic principle—something all men covet. They fight for you, give their lives for your campaigns. Yet you will not give them a loving touch waiting in their homes, when it causes you no harm?”

Claudius snorted with distaste. “They are my legions—borne to violence and bred with a devotion to protect my lands. That is a much greater good than siring a few brats—who along with their women will distract them from battle, taking their focus away from what ismost important.”

Valentio took the chance for a sideways glance to the guards—those same soldiers who were condemned to live out their lives alone, barring brief visits to bordellos and rare contact with females, whom cared nothing about them, except for what lined their pockets.

The priest’s gaze strayed upon one of those—but not too long—lest anyone notice.

Jacobus de Voragine.

No one could know they were still friends after all that had happened. All the horror and pain Claudius had put him through—all the agony Valentio allowed him to continue to visit upon him, while the priest plotted out the best way to bring about the events destined to the solider.

Even if it was the very last thing Valentio did—and more than likely, it would be—he would see Jacobus’s family restored.

“I have had enough of this,” Claudius said, his voice a strange mix of musing and anger Valentio did not care for.

He had been jailed by the Emperor and his actions for too long not to know this wouldn’t turn out well for him. His gaze strayed back to Claudius, while everyone else in the room held their breath in anticipation of what punishment would be handed out this time.

“Decide my fate. We all know in the end, you will do so anyway.” Valentio raised his bound hands to display this fact.

“And what do you think I will do?”

“Kill me for impertinence.”

Claudius Gothicus regarded his prisoner with something broaching respect in the face of what would come. “While tempting, that will not be today, Valentio. I think I will try one more thing before condemning you to such a conclusion.”

“And what would that be?”

“My loyal guard—those who always serve me without question, will take you out into the street and flog you to show my people what will happen when I am disobeyed. If you come out of it alive, we will convene again. To think of all your attempts to convert me will do you no good. I will teach you that it is better to listen than to ignore.”

**********


Excerpt Two (RATED PG)

It was her. His Petronia in the flesh.

Her chestnut hair was sheared off, brushing her shoulders and gently curling outward at the ends. Petronia watched him like she didn’t know him, when all he wanted was to take her into his arms and hold her close.

To have thought her dead! And then to have the priest tell him all of that nonsense and being idiotic enough not believe him—to this! It was incredible, even to someone who had jumped damned near two-thousand years forward in time, just three days before.

Then Petronia snapped her fingers in front of his face. “You still in there?”

“Terribly sorry, my lady. My name is Jacobus de Voragine, and this is my daughter…”

“Aelia. We’ve met.”

“Do you know her?” Jacobus asked with hope. Valentio had promised she wouldn’t remember them at first, but something in her eyes said she wasn’t as ignorant as she put on.

A woman bustled past them, wafting Petronia’s sweet, seductive perfume his way. And that was all it took. His cock hardened for her right then and there. Thank the gods his pants were baggy enough to cover it! How would he explain it to her if she happened to look down and see his straining erection?

“No,” Petronia replied, an odd note to her voice, eyes downcast like she was uncomfortable. “But your daughter does look so familiar to me.” She shook her head, taking a half-step back. Jacobus held his breath, needing her to recognize them. “But I suppose many children took a like.”

Aelia looked up between them with a sweet, innocent expression before she took off into the aisles of clothes to play. His heart filled with joy to see her carefree and unburdened. It was hard to reprimand her and order Aelia back to his side when she wanted freedom she’s never had.

“Stay where I can see you!” Jacobus called.

Aelia giggled, weaving through the displays in figure eights, around and around again. He watched her, unsure what one would say to his unknowing wife.

“You sound so formal—dignified. And you stand so straight, like a general of some great army. Different from anyone I have met here.Petronia said it as if it were praise. He turned back to her. “You haven’t been in Canada long, have you?”

“Only a few days. I come from a place that is so diverse in comparison to here. I am completely lost, despite promises on how easy it would be. There is so much to learn, and it’s quite overwhelming.”

“Aelia seems to have adapted.”

His breath held. “My,” oh, how he wanted to say our, “daughter has had to come to terms with a lot lately, and I am so proud of what she has accomplished. Her mother—died, I suppose.” Petronia’s brow lifted at that. “And then Aelia was cured of two maladies, only to be whisked away to this new land, where she knows nothing. I am pleased she does not struggle like I do, but I know it is still hard for her.”

* * * *

Petra winced at hearing the immense pain behind his words. Something about him tugged at her heartstrings, making her want to reach out to him and his daughter. Enough that she almost placed a comforting hand on his arm to try and dispel the darkness which had crowded his eyes as he stared off in the direction Aelia had gone.

“Children are resilient little people, who are capable of amazing feats.” Petra fidgeted, feeling nervous. Not of him per se. She just felt off-centre, like she’d known him forever and a day, but couldn’t recall a thing about him.

But that was impossible.

“Father!” Aelia called before she raced out of the store, back into the activity of the mall.

Jacobus launched forward to follow her, Petra close at his heels. His pace picked up as he weaved through the crowds, worry etching his features as the young girl stopped in front of greeting card shop. Valentine’s Day decorations adorned the windows in hues of red and shades of white. Pink streamers coiled across the ceiling in the store, with hundreds of holiday related items to entice the passersby to buy them for their loved ones.

“Are they not pretty, father?” Aelia pointed at the hearts in an array of Medias, which sat beside helium-filled balloons and stuffed animals. It was like she’d never seen anything like this before. “What are they?”

Jacobus’s stern appearance melted into affection at her excitement. “I don’t know. Decorations of some sort.”

“Haven’t you heard of Valentine’s Day?” Petra asked in surprise. But Jacobus’s confused look confirmed he hadn’t, not to mention that he winced at the reference. Why did he look so haunted?

“No. What is it?” His reply came out hoarsely.

Petra’s brow furrowed, wondering how best to explain it. She assumed it wouldn’t be as extravagant where he’d come from. Possibly, it would lean more toward the real origins of the date.

“Nowadays, it’s about buying gifts of chocolate, cards, stuffed animals and flowers to pass between lovers and school children, who pay twice as much for them.”

“But you know better, don’t you?”

“It is supposed to be in commemoration of Saint Valentine and the sacrifices he made. But today, too few remember that, only seeing flashy sales gimmicks.”

“And how do you know about this Valentine, if no one remembers him?”

**********


http://kaydenmcleod.com/index.php


Saturday, December 11, 2010

New Cover! Carnal Magnetism

The Cornwall Coven, Book Two; Carnal Magnetism


Kayden McLeod


http://www.kaydenmcleod.com/


Publication Date: January 15th 2011


Genre: Erotic Paranormal Romance (Vampires, M/F)


Publisher: Silver Publishing


Publisher Website: http://silverpublishing.info/


Heat-Rating: Five Flames, Explosive


Pre-Release Reader Review:


http://kaydenmcleod.blogspot.com/2010/08/pre-release-reader-review-carnal.html


“Kayden McLeod spins a tale in Carnal Magnetism that sucks you in at the beginning and doesn’t let you go. You won’t be able to put down this entrancing story of a vampire family formed from need, but able to stay together because of love.” –Review by, Stacey Krug


Tagline:

Trust only works when it’s both ways


Summary:

The RedLine is the perfect haven for a man of Ryder’s extensive desires and tastes. He uses the women of the club, much like they do him, with little care to know anything more than names, sometimes even less than that. His reputation for open-minded, tantalizing sex is renowned, and willing victims for this particular vampire are never at a shortage. At least until Catalym crashes into his life, taking over from the moment they’d met. And it isn’t long before her past life’s tribulations follow her, including a dangerous ex-boyfriend who hides far more than Ryder or his friends ever guess.


Excerpt:


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

SneakPeekWednesday; Demonic Pandemonium, Excerpt Four

The Cornwall Coven, Book Three; Demonic Pandemonium

Kayden McLeod

http://www.kaydenmcleod.com/

Publication Date:

January 29th 2010

Genre:

Erotic Paranormal Romance (Vampires)

Sub-Genre:

Horror

Publisher:

Silver Publishing

Website: http://silverpublishing.info/

Heat-Rating:

Four Flames—Fiery

Tagline:

Sex, blood and rock and roll

Summary:

Pandora is a half-demon, alone in the world and good as abandoned, with a mother who barely tolerates her and a father who is unable to be with her nearly often enough for her tastes. She keeps to herself, and tries not to associate with others often, lest they discover her secret—until she meets Kevlar Cornwall. The two collide in ignorance of one another, but the sexual-attraction is indisputable and cannot be ignored, growing more profound with every passing moment. It blinds them to the lurking danger hiding just around the corner, out to end both their lives and everyone either of them have ever known or loved.


Excerpt Four (RATED: R for obscene language)

I walked across the room to collect my purse, and Kev followed me. Then a knock on my front door disturbed my preparations.

“Thank you Kev.” I stood on my tip-toes and kissed him, but the knock sounded again and forced Kev to pull back with an indignant chuckle.

“I’ll get it. You just get ready,” Kev promised, and left my bedroom to walk down the hall.

I picked up my MP3 player from my dresser. If Coren felt the need to contact me via the radio program I listened to, then fine. Right now, I wouldn’t discard or deny any tool, no matter how odd or slight they may be.

When push came to shove, the little things would be what saved your ass at the end of the day.

I really wanted to get this bastard. He begged for me to end his life.

I heard Kev murmur a thank you, and close the door. I entered the kitchen the same moment he did, opposite me. His eyes were turbulent when he stepped forward with a long white box wrapped in blue ribbon.

“Should I be jealous?’ Kev asked with uncertain amusement. Was he?

“I don’t know. Should you be?” I retorted, and he smiled. “Your guess is as good as mine.”

“I wonder…”

“Maybe Sam is trying to suck up,” I joked half-heartedly, an unsettled feeling in the pit of my stomach.

“Here’s the card.” Kev handed me the unopened envelope, not even attempting to read it.

I watched while he peeled off the golden seal of the florist and untied the intricate trimming. His nostrils flared slightly, but he kept his silence, staring down at the crepe-paper hiding the flowers from our view.

I cringed back, though I didn’t understand why. Whatever it was, neither of us caught on right away, but we both knew one thing. The scent of flowers were heavily mixed with blood, the sickly sweet combination making me want to hurl, and my demon half want to bathe in it.

“It’s too much to hope that they’re dyed, right?” Kev muttered.

“What about the smell?”

“Florist pricked herself on the thorns?” Kev sighed hopelessly.

“Then tell me one thing in regard to that theory,” I said emotionlessly. My heart didn’t clench, tears did not prick at my eyes. My mind remained clear and ready.

“And what would that be?” Kev said.

“How did the florist get a pint or two of my mother’s blood? Last time I checked, Lillian wasn’t into flower artistry.” Of course with Kev never having met my mother, he wouldn’t have the slightest clue what she smelled like.

Kev’s nostrils flared again and he fingered a rose in the middle of the stack, one the blood hadn’t completely coated. The white petals shone with a sick gleam beneath the red. On a closer look, I could see the splashes over the stems.

“Son of a bitch!” Kev leapt away from the previously unassuming cardboard box.

I stared from him, and then to the box in alarm. Save the blood, I saw nothing amiss.

“He put a spell in the blood.” Kev’s eyes flashed bright red, and then black. He crouched low to the ground like the flowers would float from their confines and beat him over the head.

“Kev?” When he didn’t respond, I had to swallow my broaching panic. “What was the spell?”

“He’s older than we thought…” Kev murmured to himself. He shook his head back and forth like something spoke to him. “No. Can’t take her.” He looked past me. “It’s not right…”

“Kevlar?” I stepped away, and he growled. His feral unblinking eyes met mine.

“No!” he shrieked with his muscles convulsing under his skin during some sort of schizophrenic episode. Was he going to shift? Did he have enough of my blood to have developed the secondary form? “He isn’t what we think.”

Another rippling snarl escaped his lips when he launched, his actions no longer his own.

Without thought, I knew up a sheet of protection around me, and Kev practically bounced off of it. My ears automatically tuned to a sound that didn’t fit. But I was caught up with the more menacing problem at hand, to know I had that one under control before I moved onto the next. Rage filled his dead eyes and smooth young face. I was the prey he needed to get to, but he wasn’t strong enough to battle my power.

My gaze sought the box of flowers, and pinpointed the noise. I had to move the barrier with me toward the counter, grabbing the paper-towel on the way to the table.

With the towel, I gripped one of the stems and lifted it up. I might be immune to most magic of this realm, but I wasn’t taking any chances.

“What is…?” I stared at the contraption the greenery concealed, never considering people actually did things like this in real life—especially not someone with the powers of a god.

Then the final tick rang loud in my ears.

And the buried pipe bomb exploded in my face.