I'm supposed to be on vacation. It's been two and a half years since I've been back to the US, so this down time is important to me. But, I haven't been able to exactly wean myself off the computer, a future post I think and a habit I need to work on. I do have an excuse. My novella Out of the Shadows releases next week, August 16th from Samhain Publishing. I have numerous guest blogs to write and chats to make, which means that despite being in sunny San Diego I find myself sitting in front of the computer more than I should! LOL!
Next month on the 11th I believe I'll do a post on the musings of an American ex-pat visiting home. For this month, forgive the shameless promotion but I'm so excited about the start of my shadow warrior series. This is a contemporary paranormal romance woven with Aztec mythology. Did you know the mascot for San Diego State is the Aztecs? The ties to Mexico are very strong here in San Diego and the culture visible everywhere.
Out of the Shadows is set along the Arizona border with Mexico. It involves shapeshifting, elemental magic, and some wickedly strong Aztec gods. I'll leave you with a blurb and an excerpt:
When the last shadow warrior falls, so will all humanity.
With each demon he vanquishes in service to the Aztec sun god, Tomás fulfills his duty to defend humankind—and surrenders another piece of his humanity to his wolf spirit. All hope seems lost until a mission leads him to the door of the one thing he thought he’d never find…his spirit mate. The only woman who can save him from oblivion.
When Carolina hears the wolf’s howl, it pierces the very core of her lonely heart. Yet she dare not answer. As the last guardian of her land and the secret it contains, she is haunted by the mistake that cost the lives of her family. Never will she repeat that mistake, especially with a warrior who is more beast than man.
Chasing away the demon is easier than breaching the barriers around the heart of the young woman who possesses a strange power over water—and his very soul. But if they are to survive the night, he must convince her they are destined to stand together.
A wolf’s howl pierced the desert silence, causing the animals to stir restlessly in their stalls. Wolves had been reintroduced into Arizona, but she had yet to see or hear one so close to her ranch. Was it an omen?
Carolina paused in her chores to stare out the open barn door into the gathering darkness.
For a moment, she let herself get caught up in the long, solitary note. It felt like a kindred spirit. She knew loneliness intimately. Only her loneliness did not come from the vast miles of the sun-parched Sonoran desert that surrounded her, but out of the necessity to protect her goddess, her land’s secret. As one of the few amongst her people to become a guardian, her choices were limited.
The one occasion she’d invested herself in another, he’d betrayed her. She’d foolishly placed her hope and trust in Billy and she’d paid a horrendous price. Her desire to find someone to share the workload, her joy and sadness, and the burden of her secret—just as her parents had done—had blinded her to the trap she’d walked into. By the time she understood what was happening, it was too late. Her parents were dead.
Her heart weighed heavy in her chest as if it had happened recently and not five years ago. The memory of her parents lingered too close to the surface today. This had been their land, their dream, and now it was hers to fight for. She’d vowed never to fail them again. Above her own needs came the higher purpose of protecting her goddess at all costs.
Her mare, Mariposa, snorted and reared up, pulling Carolina from her thoughts. The animals had been growing edgier with each passing minute. They sensed the evil that blew in with the warm desert breeze. She berated herself for not paying more attention to them.
Goose bumps prickled her skin. Her tattoo, a gift from the goddess, began a slow burn on her shoulder, a sure sign that evil was approaching. She felt the heat radiating through the fabric of her denim shirt. The last time she’d experienced the odd sensation, her world had fallen apart.
Cautiously, she turned her head, seeking the source.
Her breath came out in a gasp.
Less than ten feet away sat a magnificent gray wolf, watching her. Waiting.