Martinis with the Devil
Zyan Star Series Book 1
by A. A. Chamberlynn
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Working with Eli, the uptight angel that heads up the HR’s security, is just about as much fun as Zy expects. He of course wants her vampire ex brought to justice through legal avenues, which is very inconvenient and incredibly boring. As she dives into the case, however, she realizes there’s more at stake than her plot for payback. Like, the free will of mankind, and preventing the minions of hell from taking over the sovereign dimensions.
This job is going to push her to the limits of her abilities, and there’s just a slight problem with that: the powers she’s suppressed for centuries after losing control of them are exactly the powers she’s going to need to save the HR, end her millennia-old ex and stop Lucifer’s little plot to join the party and invade Earth.
Savior of humanity? Not so much. Or so she thought.
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“None of your concern,” croaked the largest one, who stood only five feet tall, almost a foot shorter than me.
I smiled. “Actually this is very much my concern, as this fine gentlemen is a patron of my bar. I don’t appreciate my customers being harassed.”
“I didn’t buy anything,” Eli said.
I rolled my eyes. Gotta love the appreciation. “Be that as it may, I’m here now, and I’m not about to let a bunch of underworld offspring lurk around my establishment.” I pinned my hazel eyes on the leader. “That’s me asking nicely. I’ll only do it once.”
A slight twitch of a muscle was the only warning the first one gave before launching himself at my face. I brought my blade up before me and watched as his body sliced in half from forehead to groin. Two pieces of black flesh fell to the ground and sizzled into ash.
Two more of the spawn leaped towards me, and the other two at Eli. My sword blurred silver in the night, decapitating the first and taking the arms off the second. Eli dispatched his with a blast of white energy. They poofed into the air, little gray clouds that floated off into the sky.
I leaned down over the armless spawn, who grinned at me like a mental patient. “What’s so funny about bleeding out while your appendages lay beside you?” The tip of my sword pointed under his chin.
“You can’t stop it,” he laughed. His green blood oozed onto the pavement.
“Stop what?” Eli commanded.
“He’s coming. He’s coming! And then we will roam freely.” His smile widened, then he abruptly threw his weight forward, piercing his neck on the blade. “You can’t stop it,” he gurgled through his own blood. A moment later he dissolved into ash.
“What a drama queen,” I muttered.
Eli watched me, his eyes unguarded for just a moment before he lapsed back into what seemed his usual scowl. “That sword’s an interesting choice. Not a fan of hand-to-hand combat?”
“And ruin my nails? Don’t think so.”
“Why’d you even come down here? Did you seriously think I couldn’t handle five tiny demon spawn?”
“My turf, my business. Like I said earlier, I didn’t need them hanging around here anyways.” I ran a wash of magic over my blade to clean it and then caught sight of my boots. “Oh, God damn it!”
“Would you watch your mouth?” Eli snapped. “What’s wrong?”
“Look at my boots!” I lifted one off the ground and pointed my toe so he could see all the green gooey blood soaked into the black leather. “Now I’m gonna have to throw them away.”
“You just fought off a pack of demon spawn that spouted cryptic doomsday messages and all you can think about is your boots?” His voice was hard. Like his abs. Not that I’d been looking while we were in the middle of a battle.
“Come on, you didn’t take that guy seriously, did you?”
Eli’s jaw tightened. “It is my duty to take threats to the sovereignty of humankind very seriously.”
I laughed. “Well, you have fun with that.”
“You know, some of us actually have unselfish reasons for our existence. I’m sorry it isn’t as glamorous as your life.” He lifted his chin, golden hair falling against his jaw line.
“Yes, you should be.” I turned and strode away, leaving him on the street. “Oh, and by the way, you’re welcome,” I called over my shoulder.
Whiskey and Angelfire
Zyan Star Series Book 2
When one of the angelic warriors goes missing, Zyan and Eli head off to Dublin to join the search. As soon as they arrive, they're swept into rising tensions between the angelic forces and the other supernatural races. As more supernaturals go missing, Archangel Michael will stop at nothing to put the perpetrator behind bars, even if it means placing the city under martial law.
To add to the mess, Zyan's sister Anna is in Dublin, and where Anna is, Lucifer is only a step behind. Not to mention Alexander, Zyan's sworn enemy. Zyan has more than a sneaking suspicion they’re at the heart of a spree of recent demon invasions. But something is odd about these demons, and if she doesn’t figure it out before Lucifer reveals his ultimate plan, the price could be catastrophic.
As if things couldn’t get worse, being back in Ireland where she was turned immortal has dredged up the worst from her past. Including her maker, Olga, who’s none too pleased that Zyan’s come back.
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“What the hell?” Riley groaned, staring mournfully at his glass.
Gus on the other hand stood up quick as a flash, his body rigid. The tendons in the side of his neck popped out and a ripple moved across his skin from head to foot. Riley’s head whipped in his direction and he sniffed the air, a purely animal move. His eyes went wolf.
“What’s happening?” Quinn squeaked.
I stood too, wobbling a bit. Whatever it was, this was a super terrible time to get caught up in it. We were wasted, though the look on Gus’s face started sobering me up pretty quickly.
“We’ve been having a bit of a conflict with one of the other shifter clans,” he said, and that was all the explanation we got, because the next moment he shot for the door in a blur of speed that would put a vampire to shame.
“Not good,” I groaned.
The other patrons had all headed out into the street too, leaving the three of us alone in the room, booze and adrenaline hanging heavy in the air.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been in a fight when I’m this drunk,” Riley said, running his fingers through his short black hair.
“Well, there’s a first time for everything.” I grinned and strode for the door. Nevermind that I bumped my hip on the corner of a table on my way out.
Before I hit the street, an inhuman scream sliced through the night. It sounded like a banshee. Behind me, Riley cowered down, his sensitive wolf ears in major pain. A moment later a chorus of similar cries split the air. I stepped through the front door right as a thunderous roar rolled between the buildings, followed by at least a dozen others. My katana appeared in my hand without conscious thought. I had witnessed a lot of battles in my life, but the scene before me was one of the scarier looking ones. Yeah, I was sobering up pretty quickly.
To my right stood a couple dozen dragons, ranging in size from that of a full-grown buffalo to a large van. They were all different colors, green and red and gold and purple; a rainbow flung across the cobblestones of the damp Dublin street. I knew Gus was a water varietal dragon, but there were many other types among his clan—fire and sand and forest among them. As I watched, Gus yelled and spun in place. By the time he finished a tight circle, his human form had been shed, his flesh melting into scales, his yell turning into a magnificent roar that shivered my bones. He stood on his hind legs, moon white and obsidian swirls of scales covering his undulating body, a mane of soft spikes along his spine and tail.
On the left, down the street several dozen yards stood a herd of horses. But no ordinary beasts were these. They were twice the size of a large domestic horse, for one. Their coats shone, shimmery metallic in a range of earth hues, reminding me of the wings of the angel warriors—not soft at all, but something flexible and hard at the same time. Smoke snorted from their flared nostrils, releasing an acrid scent into the air. Eyes of orange fire or glowing blue mist lit the dark sky like faerie lamps, and where they pawed the stone, sparks flashed from their hooves.
With one final volley of screams on my left and roars on my right, the battle of the horse and dragon shifters began.
Vengeance and Vermouth
Zyan Star Series Book 3
To bring her best friend back from the dead, Zyan will march into Hell itself. But first she needs to amass a force that can challenge Lucifer on his home turf.
With Archangel Michael and the forces of Heaven on her heels, Zyan criss-crosses the globe, gathering a supernatural team of epic proportions. She’s calling in all her favors this time, summoning figures from her past both dangerous and deadly.
And to get into Hell she must work with the worst of them all, the one who murdered her friend in the first place. Zy will have to put aside her burning need for revenge to pull off the biggest mission of her life, but that may prove to be the one thing she can’t do.
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We were a bit early, but Lucifer already sat at the head of an elaborate rectangular table made of polished abalone shell with pink coral climbing the legs. A dozen crystal candlesticks dotted the surface, and flames flickered up from them, no wax. Silver goblets of dark wine were set at each of the five place settings.
“Zyan, Elijah, welcome,” Lucifer said, rising from his wicker chair and giving a slight bow. “I’m so happy you could join me for dinner.”
I suppressed a snort. As if we had a choice.
“You look ravishing, I must say. Both of you.” Lucifer looked us up and down as if we were the main course for dinner, his perfect pink lips pursed slightly.
“Thanks. Are you expecting others?” I asked, indicating the extra places set.
“Why us, of course.”
I turned to see Alexander and Anna gliding toward us, arm in arm. Judging by the look on his face, Alexander was back to his smug, smarmy self. He wore a light cotton suit like one of those rich beach bums, and Anna wore a green sundress. Eli and I seemed a bit overdressed in comparison.
Seeing Alexander brought a surge of rage, even though I’d seen him an hour before. My vision went red, as the saying goes, except it was red because I saw Quinn’s blood spilling down her chest, over and over. His death sung in the core of me. I just wondered if I could get away with it right in front of Lucifer.
Anna’s eyes brushed mine coldly as they swept past, taking the two seats on the left side of the table. Seeing her only added to my thirst for revenge. She’d lied to me, once again, and Quinn was dead because of it. She was just as guilty as Alexander, even if she hadn’t held the knife. Anna was no longer anyone I considered family. Quinn had been my true sister.
It was all I could do not to pull the dagger I had strapped to my thigh and stab both of them in the back. But I refrained, and Eli and I settled into the seats on the right. I must have been squeezing his hand tightly, because he shot me a worried look and stroked my fingers under the table, his skin smooth against my knuckles.
Lucifer smiled graciously. “Isn’t this lovely? It’s not every day I get four of my most favorite people together in one place.”
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Zyan Star came to me in 2011, this incessant house guest in my brain who simply wouldn’t shut up. Usually it’s plot that comes to me first when I write a book - and I’m at ten completed and probably another dozen partially finished books under my belt. But Zyan was and remains the only book of mine to be inspired by a character, the center of a hurricane around which everything else spun and settled into place.
Zy is a soul thief, a supernatural bounty hunter, and a bartender (a kickass one at that). She’s living a pretty carefree existence in future Seattle, running her bar, Noir, with her two best friends Quinn and Riley, a witch and a werewolf. But everything changes when the angelic forces hire her to help them hunt down someone trying to assassinate one of their top dogs - a job she declines until she finds out the would-be assassin is her evil ex, the one responsible for the loss of her soul. Throw in Pan, the faerie god of nature, Lucifer and a host of demons, and the breakdown of a societal truce between humans and supernatural, and you’ve got a cocktail for mayhem. Not to mention that Zy’s new partner, the stuck-up angel Eli, may have about the most enticing soul she’s ever encountered.
And the series just gets more fun from there Even though I wrote the first book, Martinis with the Devil, so long ago, I still love going back and reading it. I just adore Zy and the whole cast of characters so much. I’ve written other books that I love, too, but none have come to me as naturally as Zy with all her snark, sass, and badassery. If you don’t like sex, foul language, and fight scenes, this series probably won’t be your cup of tea. There are three novels and two novelettes in the series, with more to come, and also a spinoff series for Quinn, who has an interesting turn of fate in book three.
I hope you enjoy Zyan’s world as much as I do!
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