• Tag Archives Demons
  • Release Day Spotlight: Wystan by Allison Merritt

    Untitled:

    My review: 

    Oh, Dear Sweet & Fluffy Lord, the Heckmasters are my new favorite book boyfriends. Don’t even MAKE me choose just one.

    Three half-demon brothers trying to save the dying town of Berner and protect the world from whatever comes out of a hellmouth in the New Mexico Territory? Yes, please.

    Wystan, the eldest of the three brothers, carries the burdens of his demon father as his legacy. The last thing he needs is another complication. Enter a young down-on-her-luck school teacher and her little sister. Wystan is in for the battle of his life. And what a battle it is!

    This book punches all of my buttons. I can’t wait for Eban and Tell’s stories.

    About the Book

    Title: Wystan (The Heckmasters)

    Length: 228 pages

    Pubisher: Samhain Publishing

    Publication date: October 21, 2014

    Wystancover

    Blurb:

    Her search for safety lands her in a totally new kind of danger.

    The Heckmasters, Book 1

    Certain that an ad for a job in a small New Mexico Territory town is the answer to her prayers, Nebraska schoolteacher Rhia Duke packs her sister into a rickety wagon and heads west.

    Except when they reach the near-deserted town, she learns the truth. There is no job, no future, and no welcome in the bleak blue eyes of the handsome sheriff.

    The minute Rhia’s runaway team thunders into town, Wystan Heckmaster feels the change in the air. One of three sons of a demon who dared love a human, he keeps watch over a Pit guarded by seven seals, and slays any Hellbound demon that attempts to free the master imprisoned within.

    With a gut full of regret and a forgotten town filled with reformed demons, Wystan is certain of one thing: he can’t be the man Rhia needs. But when the truth behind Rhia’s flight from Nebraska comes to light, Wystan must open his soul—and pray there’s enough love between them to overcome the darkness rising from the Pit.

    Warning: Contains a take-no-prisoners sheriff, a woman who can’t outrun her supernatural secrets, and a dusty town where hope is as thin as dust in the wind. Author recommends keeping a glass of cool spring water at your elbow while reading.

    Excerpt:

    Something changed in the air the moment the wagon crossed the town’s border. Too early to be a supply train, and there was no way in hell it was visitors. Berner didn’t host town fairs, theatre troupes, peddlers, or bible thumpers.

    Wystan Heckmaster slapped his battered Stetson on his head, collected the keys to the jail, then stepped out the door. The first thing he saw was a pretty woman with hair the color of maple sugar—a rich brownish-blonde. The frown on her face spoke volumes, and the air around her pronounced trouble. She made a straight path for him.

    “Mr. Heckmaster. Or should I call you Sheriff? Or Mayor? I need to discuss the ad in the Lancaster County Republican with you. Someone placed an ad, but your brother tells me there is no school here. I’m sure there has to be a mistake. There’s only one Berner in New Mexico Territory. I’m very capable at reading maps. If I wasn’t, I would be ashamed to call myself a teacher.”

    He doubted she had taken more than two or three breaths during the speech. If she made talking in rambling paragraphs a habit, no wonder she looked so peaked.

    “Teacher?” He glanced along the street, but it was deserted as usual. “Lady, we don’t have a school here. Certainly no need of a teacher.”

    Her hands balled into fists that settled on her hips. The dress she wore was patched— the egg yolk yellow faded into something even more disgusting. It had little flowers dotting the material, but they looked as worn as her scuffed black boots.

    “Then what was the purpose of placing an ad in the Lancaster County Republican?”

    She spoke with the fierceness of a mama bear warning predators away from her cubs.             Wystan reached into his shirt pocket and drew out a toothpick.

    “I didn’t place any ad in any Lancaster County anything.” He looked past her, expecting Eban to saunter up the street. Eban had to be the brother she’d referred to since Tell was still on the trail.

    “Someone did,” she insisted. She fished a crumpled and much-folded piece of newsprint out of the pocket hidden by the folds of her skirt. “See? Right here it says, ‘School teacher wanted for spring term at Berner Schoolhouse. Wages paid based on experience. Room and board provided. Apply in person at City Hall, Berner, New Mexico Territory.’ I’m sure my eyes don’t deceive me.”

    Wystan stared at the clipping, then back at the woman. A galaxy of freckles spattered across her nose and cheekbones, making her look younger than her eyes said she was. Full figured and sure as shittin’ a grown woman. The wariness and worry darkening her hazel eyes gave her away as one with a lot of trouble on her plate.

    “I can read.”

    She pulled the ad away from his face, folded it, and returned it to her pocket. “Where would you suggest I look for an explanation, Mr. Heckmaster?”

    Fussy little thing. “I assure you that no one in this town did. There’s been a mistake. Sorry to inconvenience you, Miss Schoolteacher. Now turn around and head home.”

    A flush colored her cheeks. “I can’t head home! I have no home to return to. My little sister and my friend are waiting at the doctor’s office for me to straighten this mess out. The ad says that room and board will be provided. I’d expected to move into a room, sir.”

    “You left them with Eban?” That explained his absence.

    “Beryl is ill, Sheriff. This is the first town we’ve seen in days and it was past time for her to get some attention.” Despair crept into her voice.

    Wystan shifted his weight and transferred the toothpick to the other side of his mouth.

    “Eban’s not exactly trained in human medicine.”

    The woman’s mouth opened into an O. She shook her head and seemed to regain her senses. “He’s a veterinarian? He seemed certain he could help Beryl.”

    Wystan cleared his throat. “Sure, animal doctor. I’m sorry for your misfortune, lady, but as you can see, Berner’s about run into the ground. There’s nothing here for you or your friend. Might be best to move along.”

    She seemed to deflate. “Move along.” Her lips moved, softly forming the words, but it was as though she didn’t comprehend them. “We’ll move along, right down the trail into the next town where there won’t be any teaching jobs either. Sylvie, Beryl, and I will starve to death on the side of the road with no one in the world to care.”

     

    Buy links:

    Samhain – Amazon – B&N – Google Books – Kobo – Are 

     

    10624850_848959491804943_4194715946300646117_nAbout the Author:

    A love of reading inspired Allison Merritt to pursue her dream of becoming an author who writes historical, paranormal and fantasy romances, often combining the sub-genres. She lives in a small town in the Ozark Mountains with her husband and dogs. When she’s not writing or reading, she hikes in national parks and conservation areas.

    Allison graduated from College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri with a B.A. in mass communications that’s gathering dust after it was determined that she’s better at writing fluff than hard news.

    Social media links:

    Blog – Facebook – TwitterG+ – Goodreads – Pinterest  

     

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  • Reapers Revealed: Heads Are Rolling – A Snippet From Reap & Redeem

    We’re closing in on the Oct. 6 Release Day for Reap & Redeem, book two of the Reaper Series. Let’s get this party started with a scene from Chapter One where heads are already rolling.

    Reap & Redeem coverChapter One

    Kylen kicked the head across the floor of the dark shed with his steel-toed boot. Blood dripped into a pool on the floor from his scythe, which he still gripped tightly with one hand. He straightened to his full height and tilted his neck from side to side, listening to his spine crack and pop. Another demon down.

    “You don’t have to keep killing them yourself, you know,” Deacon said, grimacing at the black ooze spilling out of the severed neck.

    “Yeah, I do.” Kylen turned and walked to the door, taking a quick survey of the cemetery. A dark, sticky trail marked his course.

    “You have to admit, he’s efficient.” Nate picked up the head by the hair and dropped it into a black garbage bag.

    “That’s one way to look at it.” Deacon pressed his hand, which was glowing with Reiki energy, to the center of the dead male’s chest, directly over his heart chakra.

    Kylen watched as light radiated from Deacon, encasing him and the body in a soft glow. The demon boiled forth from the dead human host in a thick black torrent of sulfurous haze. Spreading his arms wide, Deacon summoned the stream, which penetrated through his sternum. His body shuddered and the light around him sparked and cracked like the arc of a welder. The glow intensified to supernova status before winking out. Several smaller streams of gray light flowed forth from the ruined body, too, entering through Deacon’s mouth.

    “Well? Did you retrieve all the souls?” Nate lifted the feet and legs of the body onto the tarp he’d set beside it.

    Deacon frowned. “Yes.”

    “How many?”

    “Three.” Deacon rose and grasped the body by the shoulders, helping Nate maneuver it. “And the demon.”

    “I really hate this shit.” Nate said, pulling a spool of duct tape from his backpack.
    They rolled the man tightly in the tarp, taping both ends so that none of the bodily fluids would discharge in transit.

    “How many more demons do you think there are?” Nate wrapped the head in a plastic bag and walked toward the door.

    “Grim thinks there are at least two dozen more,” Deacon reminded him.
    “Great. Slow and steady wins the race, yeah?”

    “I’m not sure we have the luxury of slow and steady anymore. At this rate, we’re never going to find them all. There’s already way too much collateral damage. This many missing humans in town won’t go unnoticed much longer. We need to find their exit portals and shut down the rest of the demons. Sooner would be better than later.”

    Kylen waited in the doorway, dividing his attention between the business in the shed and the cemetery grounds. Deacon was right of course. They needed to close the portals. Permanently. As it was, they were playing a game of supernatural Whac-A-Mole. Close one portal and another popped up. New entrance portals continued to open each week, which then had to be closed by Grim and Deacon. And while one batch of demons gathered their fill of souls before sliding down the small one-way shoots to Hell—the exit portals, the next batch waited for their chance. It had become a never-ending battle and the reapers needed to press on.

    They didn’t bother cleaning up the black ooze or the blood trail. The only way to make sure the scene was completely clean was fire, but arson would be sure to draw more attention to the mower garage by the edge of the cemetery than a few stains that could easily be oil or fuel. None of them were concerned about the law. There were far worse things for them to worry about.

    They’d burn the body at home, and then bury the ashes and bits of bone. Just as they’d dealt with the other eleven. This host’s disappearance would never be explained. Good thing, since the guy’s head was detached.

    THANKS FOR READING!

    Want to read more? Pre-order now for the Oct. 6 release and Reap & Redeem will magically appear on your e-reader. 

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    Reap & Redeem coverReap & Redeem blurb

    He’s a reaper who has given up on saving souls. Will a dying woman be his salvation?

    After a century of enslavement to pure evil, Kylen Larson is finally free. But he’s long past caring. The only woman he ever loved is dead, and he’s tormented by memories of the horrors his demon parasite forced him to commit. Now, he lives for nothing more than hunting down the infernal creatures invading Meridian, Arkansas, and destroying them.

    Olivia Evans is in the final stages of cancer when Kylen accidentally saves her from demonic possession. When he rescues this innocent soul, Kylen rediscovers his mission—and his heart. All he wants is to help Olivia stay alive. He’ll just have to fight off an invasion from Hell first…


  • #8Sunday – A Reap & Repent Snippet: Demon Whac-A-Mole

    In this eight sentence excerpt (creative editing in play) our reaper hero, Deacon, is searching the cemeteries trying to catch Kylen, a demon possessed reaper wreaking havoc in the town of Meridian. His town. Instead of Kylen, he finds yet another demon. Perfect.

     

    Reap & Repent final revised (647x1024)

    It was quickly becoming a game of Whac-A-Mole; put one demon down, and another popped up.

    Could this night get any more fubar?

    An added bonus: unlike Deacon, the demon could choose to abandon its body if things went south. It had nothing but a shell to lose. Deacon had a whole hell of a lot more at stake.

    Of course, dead was never really dead in the supernatural world. The best he could hope for was that the demon would stream away to the portal to Hell, wherever it was, and disappear like the others. He flicked open his scythe and made his move.

     

     

    That’s all until next week, folks. Thanks for visiting.

    Click on the link to check out the other participating authors. So many tasty samplings!

     

     

     

    Reap & Repent blurb  

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    They see death. Can they share a life?

    Ruth Scott can read the energy of every person she meets. Then she meets Deacon Walker. She can see his ice-blue eyes, his black hair, and his gorgeous face. But this beautiful stranger has no aura.

    Deacon is just as unsettled by Ruth—and, having spent more than two hundred years ushering souls to Purgatory, Deacon is seldom shocked by anything. As he helps Ruth to understand her true nature, she awakens desires that he decided long ago a Reaper can’t afford.

    A demon invasion forces Deacon to confront the darkness in his own past even as he fights to save the human souls he’s charged to protect. When he’s taken captive, his first concern is for Ruth. But Ruth just might be able to save herself—and the Reaper she can’t live without—if she can learn to wield her newfound powers.


  • #8Sunday – From Reap & Repent: Some Demons Just Can’t Take A Hint

    #8Sunday…From Reap & Repent

    This eight sentence excerpt (don’t beat me, it’s nine) is Ruth’s first trip to Purgatory alone as she waits her turn in line and her third encounter with a demon-possessed reaper who’s been harassing her. She’d warned him off but some demons just can’t take a hint.

     

    Reap & Repent final revised (647x1024)

    “The first time is always the hardest, isn’t it, love? I could make it so much…more for you,” he whispered, his words bringing new prickly bumps to the surface of her skin.

    She shrugged him off, trying to ignore him. She really did, but when he persisted, something fierce and unrelenting rose up in her. She reached back and ran her hand across the front of his jeans and over his hard erection. He hissed in surprise. She gripped him hard in her hand and then squeezed, twisting his business with all she had.

    He gave out a little choked cough before breaking free and limping off into the crowd. If the salt had surprised him yesterday, this had shocked him even more.

     

    That’s all until next week, folks. Thanks for visiting.

    Click on the link to check out the other participating authors. So many tasty samplings!

     

     

    Reap & Repent blurb  

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    They see death. Can they share a life?

    Ruth Scott can read the energy of every person she meets. Then she meets Deacon Walker. She can see his ice-blue eyes, his black hair, and his gorgeous face. But this beautiful stranger has no aura.

    Deacon is just as unsettled by Ruth—and, having spent more than two hundred years ushering souls to Purgatory, Deacon is seldom shocked by anything. As he helps Ruth to understand her true nature, she awakens desires that he decided long ago a Reaper can’t afford.

    A demon invasion forces Deacon to confront the darkness in his own past even as he fights to save the human souls he’s charged to protect. When he’s taken captive, his first concern is for Ruth. But Ruth just might be able to save herself—and the Reaper she can’t live without—if she can learn to wield her newfound powers.

     


  • Sunday Snippet: He was death incarnate. And Death was pissed.

    This week’s snippet is from Deacon, the Reaper hero of Reap & Repent. He’s had his fill of demons and has been battling them for weeks alone in Meridian. Now it looks like they might be winning.

    Sunday Snippet:

    Reap & Repent final revised (647x1024)Deacon crossed back into the cemetery and steadied himself against a large crypt wall, trying to ground himself. Between the demon and the three souls he’d just consumed, his insides felt like a macabre kaleidoscope of swirling colors and emotions. He expected his free will to be overcome at any moment. God help the souls when that happened.

    God help him, as well.

    He wished he could purge them all, souls included. But there was only one place he could even hope to accomplish that. Maybe if he could make it to Purgatory in time there might still be a chance to rid himself of the fiend.

    Then there was the body to contend with. Normally he’d find a place to dispose of it, but he didn’t think there was time. Improvising, he carried the corpse and its head back to one of the larger crypts, popped the lock with a blast of orange and threw them inside. He locked the padlock again and memorized the name above the door, hoping the Summerall family didn’t have a lot of frequent visitors.

    He paced in front of the crypt, wasting even more precious time trying to make up his mind. Now that Ruth was out of his immediate reach and hopefully safe at home, the souls were his most important consideration.

    Worst-case scenario: he’d be overcome by the demon in Purgatory, causing him to make a scene, and Rashnu would smite him.

    Best-case scenario: he didn’t hold out much hope for a best-case scenario.
    Once again he’d sent Ruth away unprepared and unarmed. Of course, the alternative was no better: frying pan or fire.

    He replayed the events over and over in his mind. The demon had appeared to be waiting for him. So where was Kylen?

    His head hurt. His heart hurt. He wanted the demon inside him destroyed. Good and dead. Since it hadn’t made a peep yet, he had no idea of its name, so exorcism was out.
    And who knows if Nate can really do what he says he can.

    Deacon wasn’t equipped to do the job himself, having never successfully captured a demon. Reaping them had never occurred to him as an option…until it was his only option. And now? He’d give anything to be rid of the evil force inside him.

    Realizing that Rashnu was his only hope was one of the worst parts of the situation. He’d almost rather make a deal with the Devil than that pompous asshole angel, but Deacon was confident that Rashnu would know how to destroy the demon permanently, or that he could at least lead him to someone who could. He needed permanent. For all their sakes. Because two demon-possessed reapers on the loose would not end well for anyone.

    He willed himself to the one place he might seek refuge

    * * *

    Landing in Purgatory, Deacon strode toward Rashnu, his rage increasing with each step as the demon pulsated within him. He hoped he had enough time left to state his case.
    The reaper hoards parted in front of him as he stalked across the depot. Surrounded by a glowing bright white light, which—he realized with surprise—was his own aura manifesting, electric-blue sparks danced from his fingertips as he made his way.

    He was death incarnate. And Death was pissed.

    Want to read more?

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    Reap & Repent final revised (647x1024)Reap & Repent blurb

    They see death. Can they share a life?

    Ruth Scott can read the energy of every person she meets. Then she meets Deacon Walker. She can see his ice-blue eyes, his black hair, and his gorgeous face. But this beautiful stranger has no aura.

    Deacon is just as unsettled by Ruth—and, having spent more than two hundred years ushering souls to Purgatory, Deacon is seldom shocked by anything. As he helps Ruth to understand her true nature, she awakens desires that he decided long ago a Reaper can’t afford.

    A demon invasion forces Deacon to confront the darkness in his own past even as he fights to save the human souls he’s charged to protect. When he’s taken captive, his first concern is for Ruth. But Ruth just might be able to save herself—and the Reaper she can’t live without—if she can learn to wield her newfound powers.

     


  • First Read…an excerpt from Reap & Redeem.

    ???????????????????????As promised, here is an excerpt from Chapter One of Reap & Redeem.

    Remember Reap & Redeem is the second in the The Reaper Series. It’s Kylen’s story and will be available October 6, 2014.

    Here’s the blurb:

    Kylen is finally freed after being possessed by a demon for a century, but to what end? The love of his life is dead, and his soul is tormented by the crimes the demon used him to commit. Hunting and killing the demons invading Meridian, Arkansas is the only thing keeping him alive in his broken state, but after he inadvertently saves Alivia Evans, a human woman, from demonic possession, he finds a new purpose. This beautiful stranger needs him to keep her alive, and in protecting another’s soul, Kylen find a new hope for saving his own.

    The only thing worse than having nothing to live for…is having everything to live for.

    Pinterest book board here http://pinterest.com/medley3/reap-redeem-book-two/

    Ready for the excerpt? Here you go!

    Reap & Redeem

    Chapter One 

    Kylen kicked the head across the floor of the dark shed with his steel-toed boot. Blood dripped into a pool on the floor from his scythe, which he still gripped tightly with one hand. He straightened to his full height and tilted his neck from side to side, listening to his spine crack and pop. Another demon down.

    “You don’t have to keep killing them yourself, you know,” Deacon said, grimacing at the black ooze spilling out of the severed neck.

    “Yeah, I do.” Kylen turned and walked to the door, taking a quick survey of the cemetery. A dark, sticky trail marked his course.

    “You have to admit, he’s efficient.” Nate picked up the head by the hair and dropped it into a black garbage bag.

    “That’s one way to look at it.” Deacon pressed his hand, which was glowing with Reiki energy, to the center of the dead male’s chest, directly over his heart chakra.

    Kylen watched as light radiated from Deacon, encasing him and the body in a soft glow. The demon boiled forth from the dead human host in a thick black torrent of sulfurous haze. Spreading his arms wide, Deacon summoned the stream, which penetrated through his sternum. His body shuddered and the light around him sparked and cracked like the arc of a welder. The glow intensified to supernova status before winking out. Several smaller streams of gray light flowed forth from the ruined body, too, entering through Deacon’s mouth.

    “Well? Did you retrieve all the souls?” Nate lifted the feet and legs of the body onto the tarp he’d set beside it.

    Deacon frowned. “Yes.”

    “How many?”

    “Three.” Deacon rose and grasped the body by the shoulders, helping Nate maneuver it. “And the demon.”

    “I really hate this shit.” Nate said, pulling a spool of duct tape from his backpack.

    They rolled the man tightly in the tarp, taping both ends so that none of the bodily fluids would discharge in transit.

    “How many more demons do you think there are?” Nate wrapped the head in a plastic bag and walked toward the door.

    “Grim thinks there are at least two dozen more,” Deacon reminded him.

    “Great. Slow and steady wins the race, yeah?”

    “I’m not sure we have the luxury of slow and steady anymore. At this rate, we’re never going to find them all. There’s already way too much collateral damage. This many missing humans in town won’t go unnoticed much longer. We need to find their exit portals and shut down the rest of the demons. Sooner would be better than later.”

    Kylen waited in the doorway, dividing his attention between the business in the shed and the cemetery grounds. Deacon was right of course. They needed to close the portals. Permanently. As it was, they were playing a game of supernatural Whac-A-Mole. Close one portal and another popped up. New entrance portals continued to open each week, which then had to be closed by Grim and Deacon. And while one batch of demons gathered their fill of souls before sliding down the small one-way shoots to Hell—the exit portals, the next batch waited for their chance. It had become a never-ending battle and the reapers needed to press on.

    They didn’t bother cleaning up the black ooze or the blood trail. The only way to make sure the scene was completely clean was fire, but arson would be sure to draw more attention to the mower garage by the edge of the cemetery than a few stains that could easily be oil or fuel. None of them were concerned about the law. There were far worse things for them to worry about.

    They’d burn the body at home, and then bury the ashes and bits of bone. Just as they’d dealt with the other eleven. This host’s disappearance would never be explained. Good thing, since the guy’s head was detached.

    #

    Nate continued to insist they could at least try to save the hosts, but Kylen was adamant that it was in no one’s best interest. After all, the hosts were only human. A demon’s essence burned through a human body like dry tinder. If a host did manage to somehow survive the first twenty-four hours, their delicate psyche would be so damaged that there wouldn’t be anything left to save. Without the demon to animate them, they would be nothing but a babbling husk.

    Kylen knew a thing or two about possession.

    He’d spent the past hundred years with a demon riding his body. Being a reaper had its perks as well as its challenges. One perk was that it was damn difficult to die. As long as a reaper fueled enough and kept his head, he was immortal, so Kylen’s body could have withstood the demon’s toxic venom indefinitely. The downside was that it was damn near impossible for a reaper to kill himself. The demon had always kept Kylen’s body nourished enough to maintain the necessary energy flow, and though Kylen had occasionally been able to break through and wrest control from the demon, it had never been for long enough.…

    Kylen had possessed the will.

    Just not the means.

    Then he had finally been freed, and somehow he had survived both the possession and the freeing.

    Most days, he wished he hadn’t.

    “Let’s get out of here.” Deacon hoisted the wrapped-up body over his shoulder and left the building, crossing the invisible barrier onto the consecrated soil of the dark cemetery. “Ready to go home, Kylen?” He placed his palm on the nearest headstone, and Nate followed suit.

    “I can’t wait.” Kylen placed his hand on the stone as well, and the three men began to shimmer as they were drawn into the consecrated subway.

     

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    Reap & Repent final revised (647x1024)

    Still plenty of time to read book one and join in on the fun. Reap & Repent is available for pre-order. Order now and it will magically appear on your ereader June 2. 

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