It’s funny, but days like today fail to lose their luster with me regardless of how many books I’ve released to this point. Finishing a novel is such a satisfying achievement and makes me feel like it’s Reverse Christmas when I get to unleash it onto the world.

Sort of like… Hey, guys. I wrote a thing and I want to give it to you!

(Now, if only life actually afforded me the luxury of flat-out handing it out.)

Shadowcast Cover
Cover Art by Reign Tran

That being said… Shadowcast is now available for purchase! The second book in my historical fantasy series, Deathspell, brings you back into the world of Christian Richardson as he delves deeper into the world of magic, sorcerers, and revenants, pitting him against the Eternal Luminaries again with the lives of his lover, Paolo, and his brother, Jeffrey, hanging in the balance. This is the next phase in both his acceptance of the hand destiny has dealt him and what that destiny has in store for him.

If you haven’t read the first book, Deathspell, then here’s the link to pick it up. If you want a glimpse into Shadowcast, then read ahead for a little teaser. Each of the books are only $2.99 a piece. And if you have plans to attend Wizard World Philly this year, look for the Crimson Melodies table in Artist Alley, because we’ll be there with copies of both.

Now, onto the teaser…

***

“Let’s find your friend so we can be off,” Paolo said, fetching his candle.

I nodded and paused to light the wick of mine. Another unsettling burst of nerves afflicted me, however, this time with more potency than I could ignore. Paolo whispered my name but I held up a hand to stop him. “Do you hear the guards?” he asked anyway.

“No, I don’t think so,” I said. The air chilled and the pulses of natural energy the world produced ebbed closer to me, bringing an uneasy feeling with them. My tongue tasted like metal and the smell of blood wafted into my nose, assaulting my senses. I heard the sound of somebody scream and when Paolo raced to make up the distance between us, I could tell he had heard it as well.

“What was that?”

Reflexively, I wanted to say I didn’t know, because my normal senses told me little other than the fact that somebody was in danger. I knew better, though, and the response stuck in my throat without being birthed past my lips. When the ability to hold back the shocks rippling into me became difficult, I finally swung the door open to them, allowing them to consume me. The effect they had on me was staggering.

It felt as though my breath had been stolen. Gripping onto the wall to prevent myself from toppling to my knees, I lost sight of the floor and saw imagery instead, a barrage of savagery which afflicted even my jaded mind. Several guards had been stabbed by a host of red-cloaked individuals and the ones not brave enough to face their attackers ran for the servants’ house to warn them. I shuddered and whether or not I produced any sound, I felt a gasp rise like bile in my throat. As quickly as I witnessed the slaughter of so many men, I found myself staring at a rug once more, the montage of images ceasing altogether.

My arms shook, but my hand continued clutching onto the wall. As I struggled to interpret what I had witnessed, the vague notion that the message had been sent from Lucie preceded the realization of what that meant. She had witnessed this with her own eyes, which could only mean one thing.

“They’re here,” I said.

Paolo walked with me to the window and helped me shove the drapes out of the way. Figures moving in the shadows caused me to shudder as I thought of their blades and teeth tearing apart the defenseless people outside. We jumped when banging from the front doors echoed up to the second floor and as I gathered myself together again, I realized if there had been a time for playing coy with my talents, that moment had passed. “We’ve been ambushed,” I added in explanation, knowing I needed to say little else. Paolo would know what I meant. He would understand.

These were the men who had been responsible for my death, bearing the sigil of a flame within a circle embroidered onto their cloaks. The Luminaries had caught up with us at last.

And we would not be leaving without a fight.

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