Monday, May 22, 2017



In the aftermath of the latest battle, the stakes are higher than ever before. Time’s hardly an ally to Nicholai’s army of paranormal soldiers. The Tomes remain hidden, and the clock is ticking for the Essenced poisoned with the demon’s incurable toxin.

Beyond those worries, magic might be vanishing—a twist that could insurmountably cripple the army’s capabilities prior to the war’s conclusion.

Never has the conflict felt so desperate, with danger escalating and hope disappearing with the slow drain of the hourglass.

Will the answers surface in time, or will the band of warriors fail to prevent the ruin of the world?


From her spot among her own pack, AJ watched the ailing warriors struggle to perform the most basic of operations, like stand. Her compassion for their plight gained an empathetic quality when her gaze locked on Johnny and McKenna to note that the strong Kapre-Essenced alpha was leaning heavily on his girlfriend while they both propped against the wall closest to the medical ward. Sweat coated his unnaturally pale face, and his chest heaved in obvious exertion from the small distance he’d traveled to make it to the recreation room.

But Johnny’s stance didn’t cause AJ’s empathy. That compassion was brought on by the mannerisms of the Wood Nymph-Essenced who was clinging to him. One of McKenna’s arms was wrapped around his back with her other hand lingering on his stomach, and her distress was as visible in her expression as Johnny’s exhaustion was in his. She never distanced from him, continually supporting him in obvious love and worry...

From her right, AJ felt Julius approach, and she immediately reached for his left hand with her right one.

He accepted the offered hand with a tight squeeze. “We’re not them, sweetheart.”

AJ nodded without glancing away from McKenna and Johnny. “I know that, but how easily could we have been?”

“Very,” he softly admitted as his grip strengthened on hers another time.

McKenna’s grin turned tender before her head settled on Johnny’s shoulder, though his weight was still angled toward her to keep him balanced.

AJ grunted at the sweetness—and terror—of the scene, then finally looked at Julius. “I don’t know what I’d do.”

“I know.” He let out a heavy breath, then leaned forward to kiss her brow. “I know.”



Connie L. Smith spends a decent amount of time with her mind wandering in fictional places. She reads too much, likes to bake, and might forever be sad that she doesn’t have fairy wings. And that she can’t swing dance. Much of her preferred music is severely outdated, and as an adult she’s kind of obsessed with Power Rangers. She has her BA from Northern Kentucky University in Speech Communication and History (she doesn’t totally get the connection either), and her MA in English and Creative Writing.

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