by Amy MczKinley GENRE: Paranormal Romance
Forged through a childhood trauma and cursed by the Fates, Layla vows never to be at another’s mercy. With determination and training she evolves into a deadly weapon and quiets her inner demons—until the prophecy activates, shattering her peace. The gods who want her dead converge and the hunt to end her life truly begins. The skills that Layla honed for protection become an unconscious tool for death and destruction, threatening not only the gods but her family.
Entrenched in clan turmoil, Thaull’s life hangs at a precipice. He’s faced with a condition known only to his kind, the soul-divide. If not dealt with, his soul will rip in half and he will turn into an unstoppable, ice-cold killing machine. As he hunts the traitor within his Phantom Warrior clan he worsens. A fragile thread of hope remains. The love of a female, freely given, can save him. Through a premonition of an alluring demigoddess, he gambles his very existence in the chance she will be his salvation.
She will go dark from her curse. He will go numb from his. To survive, Layla must risk trusting another or become another.
Hades scratched one of Cerberus’s heads, while the other two vied for attention; serpentine tongues slithered out of mouths harboring razor-sharp teeth. A loyal watchdog to the Underworld, Cerberus prevented the dead from leaving and the living from entering. With a final rub, Hades dismissed the monstrous beast, absently watching as he padded away on lion’s paws, the distinct rattle of serpent tail and long mane of snakes making his ferocious presence widely known.
Hades grinned as he strode forward, boots crunching on jagged pieces of rock and bone. The charmed design he’d sent to the last born demi-goddess had been opened. He’d sent it under the guise of one of his servants—despite initial objections—along with a concealed spell courtesy of Deimos to further aid her transformation. His mind drifted to the veiled conversation he had with the god. Deimos would be both furious with him and indebted. Focusing back on Layla, he chuckled. Once she wielded the spelled halberd, she would be unable to resist its dark influence.
He rubbed his hands together, and a deep laugh rumbled from his chest. Why was Zeus so wary? As each sister succumbed to the curse, his larder of souls filled. If they beat the prophecy it hardly affected him. Either way, he benefitted.
Crossing the threshold to his lair, Hades stood in front of the enormous stone-lined fireplace. His thoughts shifted to his beloved wife, Persephone. Six months is too long. An ache that had taken residence throbbed in his chest. He absently rubbed it, missing her luxurious hair and curvaceous body. Most of all, he longed for the way her mere presence soothed his soul, the sound of her laugh, and how he lost time itself gazing into the fathomless depth of her luminous, brown eyes.
A flash of light drew his attention, and irritation spiked his blood. Zeus. By the look in his brother’s stormy gray eyes, this was not a social call. Hades bit back a growl, and instead replaced it with a grin. “What brings you to my world?”
Zeus snorted, his grip on his lightning bolt tightening fractionally, before a calculating gleam flashed across his turbulent features. “Someone needs to remind you about the five. If they aren’t stopped, our lives may be at stake.”
Hades strolled past his brother, amusement coloring his words as he spoke. “That’s very dramatic, even for you. I realize you’re the one who angered the Fates, but five meager demi- goddesses—scratch that I believe it’s four now since one beat the curse—hold an infinitesimal threat to gods such as us.”
Finishing up - coming by 8am CST
Amy McKinley is a freelance writer and author of the Five Fates Series. She lives in Illinois with her husband, their four talented teenagers, and three mischievous cats. You can find her at www.amymckinley.com