Author: Cari Z
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: January 30
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Genre: Romance, Action, urban fantasy, magic, magic user, psychic/soothsayer, myth/folklore, mafia, reunited, road trip, spirits, posession
Cillian Kelly can look into people’s eyes and see their fates. He’s running from a past filled with mistakes, lying low and selling his services on the sly. When he learns that Sören Egilsson, a man who sacrificed himself so Cillian could escape imprisonment two years ago, is somehow still alive, Cillian has to find out how. What he gets is the body of the man he loves possessed by an ancient spirit who draws Cillian into a battle to the death for the right to control Sören’s fate, and the power that comes with it.
Cari Z © 2017
All Rights Reserved
My phone buzzed, interrupting my musing. I frowned as I pulled it out of my jacket pocket. Only a dozen people had this number, and I wasn’t expecting to talk to any of them any time soon. I unlocked it and looked at my new message.
Move ten paces to the right.
My feet were moving even before my brain caught up, obedience was so instinctual. Two seconds later, I was out of the mouth of the alley, and three seconds after that, a beat-up silver sedan coming down the road was clipped by a delivery van and veered straight into the corner of the building. It wasn’t moving fast, thankfully, but the crash was plenty loud, especially since I was just a few feet away from the point of impact.
A memory flashed through my mind, one of my personal rare and painful gems. I was in the backseat of an old Lincoln, and I was very small. My feet wouldn’t have touched the floor even if I hadn’t had my knees squished to my chest, and my face was pressed to the knobby joints so hard they were leaving red blotches on my cheeks. The man driving was on a phone—an old-school cell phone, clunky in his hand, distracting. He wasn’t paying attention, but I knew the moment before the car was hit and covered my head with my hands, so when I went flying into the door, it didn’t hurt as much. Metal crunched, and bright spots flashed across the darkness behind my eyelids as the car spun and spun…
I shook my head and took a deep breath, focusing on the present. The van hadn’t stopped, but I didn’t bother trying to catch its license plate number―there were plenty of people exclaiming and getting on their phones. I headed over to the driver’s side and opened the door, but didn’t reach in to touch the woman who had been driving. She was moving under her own power, picking her head up off the remains of her airbag and whimpering softly. “Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god…”
“It’s all right,” I said gently. I might not be a martyr, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t feel compassion for another person, especially one who’d just been thrown into a wall. “You’re okay. Just a little accident. There’s an ambulance coming to help you.” I could already hear it in the distance. We were only a few blocks from a major hospital. “Can you look at me for a moment?” She blearily turned, and as soon as our eyes met, I sighed and backed out of the way. One of the employees at the auto-painting store took my place, and a second later—bam. The fucking Ace of Cups moment. Who found true love as a result of a car accident? This wasn’t exactly the heartwarming scene I’d envisioned getting me through the day earlier.
“Are you all right?” the newcomer asked frantically. “What’s your name? I’m Felix. I’m gonna stay with you until the ambulance gets here, okay? Oh Jesus, are you all right?”
“I’m…I think so?” the woman said, her voice gaining a little bit of strength. “I’m Paula.”
“Paula, hey.” He smiled at her, and she smiled back. I rolled my eyes. “Nice to meet you.”
For fuck’s sake. Well, at least the settlement from the trucking company would give them a nice nest egg to get their new place together. I turned away and walked to the end of the block before getting out my phone again and making a call.
She picked up on the second ring. “Hi, baby.”
“What, you can see me getting smeared across a wall, but you don’t bother to let me know about having a gun pulled on me?”
“Cillian.” My mother sounded half apologetic, half resigned. “You know it doesn’t work like that.”
Yes, fine, I did know that, but I didn’t feel like being reasonable right now. “So you didn’t see that this morning, then?”
“Did you need me to see it?”
I wasn’t about to go down the self-sufficiency road with her. It meant a surefire argument, and I was still buzzing with adrenalin from being so close to the car crash.
“No,” I said flatly. “I guess not.”
Why Cillian Can’t Go To Vegas
“You never did tell me, you know.”
“Tell you what?” I asked, distracted by the state of Lady’s muddy paws. How did she manage to get muddy in the middle of freakin’ nowhere in Texas, where the only source of water was the landvættir’s lake? And that was strictly off limits to my dog, according to Sören. He’d put up with sharing a trailer with her, but the vættir didn’t like her splashing around in the shallows.
“Tell me why you can’t go back to Vegas.” Sören handed me a washcloth and stared at me with bright eyes. It wasn’t always easy to keep his interest these days; he got distracted so easily sharing a body. While I normally didn’t like to talk about my biggest mistakes, I figured if anyone would understand them, Sören would.
“I went there as a teenager with a fake ID and a chip on my shoulder. I didn’t know how to gamble, I was still struggling with my ability, and it took a while to get the hang of when and how to place bets so the house didn’t get wise to me.” I rubbed at Lady’s back paws, picking a piece of twig out from between her toes. “Once I got it though, I was unstoppable. And being unstoppable made me stupid. I placed big bets and won, and when the heat got to high I moved on to the next sucker. I held parties I didn’t know how to participate in and took poor advice from bad people. I was…indiscreet.” That was one way of putting it, at least.
“I was far from the only talent in town. And the professionals don’t like it when a newbie starts flashing his power around and bringing too much attention down on the community. So they picked me up.” When I was high and stupid and defenseless in the arms of a man who didn’t give a shit about me. God damn it, I was so dumb. “And they took me somewhere out of the way, and they told me that I was leaving. And if I was smart, I’d never come back.”
Sören frowned. “That’s it?”
“Well, they punctuated it with a lot more violence than that, but yeah, basically. And a few…well, it doesn’t matter, because I’m not going back to Vegas.”
Little did I know I’d be eating my words in less than twenty-four hours.
NineStar Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords
Meet the Author
Cari Z. is a Colorado girl who loves snow and sunshine. She writes award-winning LGBTQ fiction featuring aliens, supervillains, soothsayers, and even normal people sometimes.
1/30 On Top Down Under
1/31 Love Bytes - www.lovebytesreviews.com
1/31 Out Of My Head
2/3 We Three Queens