“Gayle transports readers to an underwater utopia in Love at 20,000 Leagues… Devoted paranormal and sci-fi romance fans will enjoy the futuristic setting.”
“I guess this is my stop,” I said, hesitating at the threshold.
“Mine too.” Mason joined me, letting the doors slide shut behind him.
“What are you doing on the sixth floor?” I was flattered if this was his way of trying to have some more time with me.
“I wish I was hanging out with you.” He leaned close, seeming to read my mind. “Unfortunately, my dear mother has asked me to investigate a lead on the resident vandal.”
“On my floor?” I asked, curious.
“It wasn’t you, was it?” He grinned. “Personally, I think you taking a stand against my mother would be quite sexy.”
“Hate to ruin your daydream, but I was locked safely in my room last night. What have you found out so far?” I had to admit, curiosity was starting to get to me.
“That’s need-to-know.” Mason raised a hand in a Boy Scout gesture.
“What if I need to know?” I asked, stepping in close. “I can be rather convincing.”
“Do demonstrate.” Mason quirked his mouth up in the corner, and I imagined tasting those lips. “I’m not beyond bribery.”
I cleared my throat. “What exactly do you have in mind?”
“Well, you already promised me dinner this evening. What say we trade classified information for another date tomorrow? I’d say it’s a fair arrangement.” Mason’s smile nearly blinded me as sparks flew to all the right parts of my body.
I pretended to think about his offer, tilting my head and tapping my chin. “I suppose it would be acceptable. Why don’t you come in to my room, so we can talk?” Talking isn’t all I wanted to do with him.
I led the way inside my quarters to the white sofa. I sat on one end, giving Mason his choice, and crossed my legs as casually as possible.
Without hesitation, he planted himself right beside me. He wrapped one arm over the back of the cushion and tilted his body so he could face me.
“Sometime last night around two in the morning, as far as we can tell, someone took a can of spray paint and left a message at the base of the Poseidon statue.” Mason watched carefully for my reaction, I suppose knowing it was my mother’s artwork. But I needed more information to truly process this on top of everything else that had happened. Was it possible to be so overrun with emotion that at some point there wasn’t room for any more?
“What sort of message?” I asked.
Mason coughed, but it didn’t cover his laugh. “Down with the bitch. Your reign is near an end.”
“A threat against your mom?” I asked, unsure who else it could’ve meant. “Aren’t you worried?”
“Nah. You don’t get to where my mother is without making a few enemies. And let’s face it, they pegged her just right.” When he saw my face, he added, “Don’t worry, I’m sure it’s harmless. We did background checks on everyone before inviting them down here. She gets empty threats like this all the time.”
That hardly made me feel better. Who would have done that while trapped down here with her? “So…why this floor?”
Mason furrowed his brow, seeming uncomfortable. “The security footage around the area blacked out for an hour, but so did the footage all the way back to Mermaid’s Cove.”
“Let me guess. The sixth floor went out too.”
“Yep.” Mason leaned forward.
“You can’t seriously believe the person who did this is really on this floor.” I snorted.
Mason straightened in his seat. “I think it’s pretty obvious that’s precisely where they are.”
“It’s too obvious. I mean, if someone had the ability to get through your security system, why would they be stupid enough to leave you a trail right to them?”
Mason’s face blanked and then slowly broke into a smile. “Maybe we should put you in charge of the investigation.”
“Leave me out of it,” I said. “I mean yeah, I’m pissed that someone took it out on my mom’s statue, but it’s not like that’s common knowledge, so curiosity is as far as I get with this investigation. Feel free to run things by me though.”
“I’ll take you up on that. You can be my secret weapon. Of course, if you demand payment, I’m not sure what more I have to offer.” His voice lowered, sending tingles of anticipation down to my toes as he leaned in.
My heart thumped as those luscious lips finally met mine. I’d dreamed of this moment since I was twelve, and it didn’t disappoint. His tongue slipped inside my parted mouth, gently probing my own, and my entire body responded. A moan escaped from somewhere deep in my throat as his hands slid beneath my shirt, running up the sides of my ribcage.
Lizzy Gayle loves paranormal so much, she lives it. She is both an author and a psychic. Between mothering her three kids, attempting to understand her rocket scientist husband, and consistently attempting to declutter her home (that she is convinced is a secret portal to a clutter-creating dimension), she does her best to use her creative gifts and share them with you. Lizzy is a people person so if you contact her, it will make her very happy and she will likely answer while possibly including pictures of her bunnies and/or bird.
There was no spell in the world to unravel that level of stupid.
“Can I kiss you?” The question came out on a breath, so soft she wasn’t sure he’d hear it with the fans humming as steadily as her powers on a Josh high.
*She poured seven hundred days of anticipation into this first kiss.
The staked witch burst into flames. Mina swore and jumped clear of the blaze. By the powers, she’d lit the wrong target with her elemental magic.
At least it’d only been a mannequin.
The camera above the door blinked a steady red, a judgment of her failure. Her boss could be watching right now. Or worse—her sisters.
Embarrassment sent hot tingles across her skin, and her pulse thudded louder in her ears than the massive fan above. Why couldn’t she control her powers?
If this had been one of her video games, she’d wield her magic with precision worthy of a stupendous title. Something inspiring. Something enviable. Something that would make her, Mina Donovan, legendary.
Second spare to the heir of a ruling witch family? Yeah, not so much.
Reality sucked in every supernatural way. Or at least it had these last few weeks.
Her actual targets—giant cotton balls tacked to a wall across the room—mocked her with their bright white while the mannequin and its formerly Mean-Girls-esque you-can’t-sit-with-us designer threads burned like a tiki torch.
“You missed.” Of course her district attorney sister picked that moment to walk into the room. Delia was everything Mina wasn’t—accomplished, distinguished, polished. Never mind how her sister’s blue-eyed, blonde-haired dressed-to-the-elevens flawlessness compared to her own frizzy-curled, height-deprived, rolled-out-of-bed look. “Unless you’re practicing to light one of us up like a witchy sparkler?”
“Hardly.” Being recruited to a secret FBI task force right after college had seemed cool. But it should’ve come with a neon warning: “All loved ones may be collateral damage.” Last night, her oldest sister and baby niece had almost died. Not her fault entirely, but that didn’t ease her guilt. Or help her get a grip on her powers. The now flaming mannequin was proof of that. “What happened to safety cones and boring bulls-eyes for training? Whose idea was it to put humanish targets in here anyway?”
“The boss’s. A13 wanted to test your aim so you won’t torch us out in the field. After this little demonstration, I’ll be sure to stay out of the line of—”
“Don’t say it.” Mina jabbed the button for the secondary exhaust system to blast out her know-it-all sister’s opinions as much as smoke. If she’d heard one bad fire joke, she’d heard them all from her snarky sisters.
The roar of the combined fans wasn’t enough to shut Delia up. “Good thing this place is retrofitted for magical elements training. One wrong spark in LA, and the whole city burns.”
Not the reminder Mina needed right now. She changed the subject. “Who decided on the witch hat and the giant demon dummy?” Red-sequined horns sparkled in the light from the fire.
“My fiancé has a sick sense of humor. You started that little inferno. You going to put it out?”
“Yes.” She hoped. But when she pulsed a thread of magic toward the mannequin, the flames shot higher than its pointed hat.
“Did you mean to make the fire worse?”
Delia’s yeah-right look was a speed dial straight to Mina’s self-doubt.
If the place had been made of anything but concrete, the fire would’ve raced across the room taking everything out. As it was, black circles spread in a messy scrawl on the ceiling.
Mina closed her eyes. The orange glow burned behind her lids, a flashing pyrotechnics show that didn’t help her maxed-out stress levels. With a deep breath, she imagined darkness where there was light. When she dared a peek, the fire was gone. Thank the powers.
“Quick work.” Delia sounded almost impressed. “Maybe we should race sometime.”
“Right, except if you’d used your air element, we’d both be unconscious. Me from oxygen deprivation and you from magic drain.” Petty, but true.
Delia’s powers would have her blonde butt on the floor within seconds—the price of her whirlwind-slinging element. Then the designer diva would be pissed off that she’d gotten soot on her suit. The tornado-tosser looked anything but amused. “Okay, super witch.” Which sounded like a not-so-subtle reference to another word ending in –itch. This was big sister bossiness at its worst. “Care to hit any of the real targets now? I thought you’d been working on this during your training sessions.”
“Don’t you have something better to do? Like making out with your fiancé? Since that’s all I see you doing these days when you’re training.” Mina wiggled her fingers in air quotes with the last word.
“Nope.” She totally was. Legacy daughters—those witches born to rule the witch Senate—were traditionally forced into arranged matches for powerful bloodlines and big bank accounts. But not her sisters. No. They’d each risen above that to find true freaking love. “So why don’t you get back to your guy instead of interrupting me?”
“Don’t be such a brat. I was just checking on you.”
Because Mina was the screw-up baby sister. Not as bad as their brother, but he’d set the bar low. As in conspiring with the Revelare, a demon-led organization looking to overthrow the witch Senate—that kind of low. “I can do this by myself.”
Luna Joya writes sexy hexy romances in the award-winning Legacy Series.
Fluent in sarcasm and penal code, Luna prosecutes by day and writes at night. She loves history, especially Los Angeles and Hollywood lore.
A survivor of traumatic brain injury with steel body parts, she lives in SoCal with her combat veteran husband and their two-pound terror of a rescue pup.
There are 11 books – so far – In this series plus 5 short stories, but plenty of opportunity for more stories to come. Not all the monsters have yet appeared (?) or been vanquished. Whilst the short stories fit in between some of the main books, they are not essential to the main story line – which does continue through the books. None are stand-alone and even the short stories should not be read before their place in the series as the entire story-line is closely entwined.
So, these stories have plenty of humour, lots of ghosts, some murders, romance – quite hot at times, and the Old Wild West crops up as this is Deadwood as in ‘Shoot Out in the Corral’ Deadwood. With brothels, saloons, casinos, and gold – and thus mines and all the icky things that live in old mines! Also cropping up are: myths and mythology, folk tales and horror stories, demons, devils (yes there is a distinction – depends on rank), mediums of various types, ectoplasm and poltergeists – goes with mediums? So full on with all the various nasties you can think of, plus a few more to give you the heeby jeebies at night.
I did enjoy our heroine who was so very protective of her twins, and her boyfriend ‘Doc’ was also good. After all, he put up with her and her various eccentricities and adventures and rather messy way of killing… And she has a job as a realtor – which is the second most common job in Deadwood (they call them residential advisors), so it is tough, and they seem to do a lot of work. But unlike some property companies, she seems to get a steady salary and bonuses for selling and renting, so she has always something to fall back in terms of income.
The writing style was lively, and it was difficult to get bored, and I am now waiting for the next in the series to come out. In fact, I broke one of my cardinal rules and bought 15 books! The first was free but …. That was a lot of books for me to buy as I get so many free. But I couldn’t stop reading – I read all 16 books in one week.
Now we get quite a few descriptions of meals in the stories, and yes, we are in the South Dakota mountains and it is bitterly cold and snowy quite a lot of the year, (Deadwood averages 138 inches of snow per year. The US average is 28 inches of snow per year.) but still, the meals all seem to be very high carb and fat and very low in vegetables and fruit especially for the children. Pizza appears a lot and fruit appears in pies with tinned fillings and sugary tops; there was a mention of a cabbage and some salads, but the green bean casserole (why casserole green beans?) has added fat, as well apparently, according to Campbells Soups, mushroom soup and fried onions.
And then there is sugar, more sugar, and variations of sugar in various sweet foods.
Is there a shortage of fresh/frozen vegetables? Can someone explain please?
Yes, I do realise this is a novel and it isn’t reality but it does seem to me, that there usually a reflection of truth in here somewhere, either in the local culture of the South Dakotas or the author, so I checked with the State regional foods. And the Black Hills Visitor lists the following:
1. Kolache – cakes with cream cheese filling
3. Wojapi – berry dipping sauce
4. Chislic – deep fried meat cubes
5. Buffalo meat
6. Walleye fish
7. Indian Tacos (on Fry Bread)
8. Kuchen with custard
Yup. High carb, sugar and fat…
And look out for the Purple Boots and their importance and influence…
So, I strongly recommend this if you like paranormal fun and aren’t likely to get nightmares.
It was a dark and dreary time in Iceland – but then Iceland doesn’t get much sun and fun at the best of times – and if I was an asylum seeker, it is one of the last places I would chose to go to. Winter lasts a very long time indeed – and there aren’t a lot of people there (it is the most sparsely populated country in Europe) – and there isn’t much that is green and… bits of it are falling off – [Personal fact – I saw a glacier ‘calving’ once in Alaska – it was outstanding and so blue!]
But if needs must, then you go. But what you don’t want to find is a system where being female is something that puts you in yet more danger.
We have e new detective to me in this book – a Hulda Hermannsdóttir of Reykjavik, who doesn’t get on so well with her colleagues and thus is left investigating a cold case – the death of an asylium seeker. But what she gradually uncovers is rather more than she expected.
I am not a great Nordic Noir fan, whether in books or on TV, but this book fascinated me. It was well plotted and well translated and the style was polished. It was basically good storytelling for a murder and in the classic style.
I enjoyed it and the as for the ending – well a good plot with plenty of red herrings (and the Icelandic folks probably know quite a lot about them) – and unexpected ending.